Northampton Council confirms Westburg as senior services director

  • Marie Westburg was confirmed as director of the Northampton Senior Services Thursday night by the Northampton City Council. Submitted Photo

@BeraDunau
Published: 5/3/2018 11:36:24 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Despite a loud campaign against her candidacy, Marie Westburg received unanimous approval from the City Council to head Northampton Senior Services.

Westburg previously served as the director of the Senior Center in Williamsburg. She has been serving as the interim director of Senior Services since Monday.

Westburg was selected to head the department by Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz. Her appointment received pushback from a number of community members, who lobbied that it be rejected so that the candidacy of Heather Cahillane, until recently the assistant director of the city’s Senior Services, could be reconsidered.

No members of this opposition spoke at Thursday’s meeting, though many of them voiced their opinions before the City Services Committee that voted 4-0 to send Westburg’s appointment to the council with a positive recommendation.

The mayor’s appointment required the approval of a majority of the council in an up-or-down vote to take effect.

Councilor At-Large William Dwight was on the screening committee for the Senior Services director position, where he got to review Westburg’s application. He also said that he’d gotten the opportunity to interview Westburg.

“I was very impressed,” he said.

He also noted that no one had challenged Westburg’s qualifications.

“The vote shouldn’t be all that difficult,” he said.

Ward 2 Councilor Dennis Bidwell, who serves on the City Services Committee, said the process to appoint Westburg was in order, that she was qualified for the job, and that he liked her preparedness.

“Thrilled,” said Westburg, on being confirmed unanimously by the council.

She said that her time as interim director has only come with a tiny bit of friction, and that people are getting a sense of her.

“I’m excited to get started,” she said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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