By Charles Sercombe
There is one thing you can say about newly appointed Zoning Board of Appeals member Mohammed A. Rahman: He’s consistent.
Rahman lived up to his record of not attending ZBA meetings by missing his first meeting as a regular member of the board.
Rahman’s appointment to the ZBA several weeks ago stirred controversy among the city council.
Three councilmembers, Anam Miah, Mohammed Hassan and Saad Almasmari, went against the recommendation of City Planner Melanie Markowicz on who to appoint to the board.
The councilmembers insisted on appointing Rahman, who had been an alternate member for three years but who had also attended only one meeting in that time.
Two councilmembers, Andrea Karpinski and Ian Perrotta, voted against that appointment and lashed out at their colleagues for ignoring the recommendation of a city department head.
Perrotta called the appointment “reckless and foolish.”
Mayor Karen Majewski also criticized the appointment.
“Why appoint someone who hasn’t done their duty for the three last years?” she said at the time.
Rahman told The Review in a telephone interview that the reason he missed last week’s meeting was because he was ill and in the hospital.
Asked why he only attended one meeting in three years as an alternate, he said: “That was the past.”
Pressed further to explain, he said: “I can’t remember, but now I’ll attend all the meetings.”
Rahman was also scheduled to be sworn into office last week. He said he called City Clerk August Gitschlag this week to reschedule his oath of office and left a message with him.
Gitschlag told The Review he did not receive a call from Rahman.
“If I had I would have scheduled an appointment for a swear-in,” Gitschlag said.
Before the vote to appoint Rahman, Councilmember Hassan said he was owed “one more chance” to show he will attend ZBA meetings.
Hassan, who championed Rahman’s appointment, said he would talk with Rahman.
“I take this seriously,” Hassan said. “If he doesn’t want to do it, he should resign.”
Markowicz declined to comment and said “someone from city hall” would speak about the matter.
That turned out to be City Attorney Travis Mihelick who said that one missed meeting in Rahman’s new role as a full ZBA member is not enough to call for his removal.
“It does not rise to non-performance of duty,” he said.