The Barrington Town Council unanimously appointed Joel Hellmann to the Barrington Committee on Appropriations Monday night.
Mr. Hellmann fills a vacancy created by Nicholas DeRosa, who resigned for the committee earlier this year. COA members are typically elected at the town’s annual financial town meeting though the town council is permitted to appoint a member in the event of resignation.
Mr. Hellmann was one of two applicants to apply for the position. The other candidate was Peter Costa Jr., a member of the town’s parks and recreation commission. Mr. Costa said he was interested in the opening because he believes it’s important to create a “workable budget.” Mr. Costa also said he wasn’t unhappy with recent budgets but felt he could be an “asset” to the group.
Mr. Costa referenced his experienced with his college’s audit and finance committee as one of his qualifications for the job.
Mr. Hellmann, however, said he has attended well over 100 COA meetings over the last 18 years. Mr. Hellmann also argued that outside of the town manager and town finance director, he probably knows more about the budget than anyone.
In the end, all five councilors supported Mr. Hellmann. Town councilor Kate Weymouth said Mr. Hellmann is “extremely knowledgeable” and quite “tight fisted.” She added it will be nice to see him on the “receiving end” of financial town meeting questioning.
Town councilor Ann Strong, meanwhile, added Mr. Hellmann is one of the reasons to turnout for town meeting.
COA chairwoman Kathryn Cadigan wasn’t in attendance Monday though a note was delivered on her behalf advocating for Mr. Hellmann.