Daniela DeLuca appointed to the Pelham Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council decided upon and announced the appointment of Pelham resident Daniela DeLuca to the Pelham Parks and Recreation Advisory Board during the latest council work session and meeting on Monday, July 1.

DeLuca, who is the mother of two sons that attend Pelham High School, was selected out of a field of four candidates that also included Ashlyn Kortman, Michael Ingram and Pam Crawford.

All four candidates attended an interview process carried out during the June 17 council work session that consisted of the same three questions asked to each candidate. During these interviews, candidates were scored independently by all present council members, who then turned their scores in to City Clerk Tom Seale for recording.

At the conclusion of that process and review, DeLuca had received the first-place score from three of Pelham’s councilmembers—which amounted to the majority.

At the beginning of the work session, Councilmember Chad Leverett quickly backed the appointment of Daniela DeLuca for the position and made the motion to add her appointment to the night’s meeting agenda—citing the fact that she had received the highest score from the majority of the councilmembers. Despite the fact that Leverett had not scored her as his top choice, he moved that the majority opinion should carry, a sentiment that Councilmember Rick Wash echoed despite having also ranked DeLuca lower among the candidates.

“I think it is important to point out—that when we do the rankings for these interviewees—there is a fine line and it is a small margin between our number one and our number four (ranking), especially when we have four people as we did in this case,” Wash said. “Honestly, we could have put all four of these names in a hat and just drew one of them out and we would have made a great selection. I’m comfortable with Daniela DeLuca being our appointment to the position.”

While moving forward with DeLuca’s appointment, Mercer and other councilmembers took time to emphasize that the other candidates should not be discouraged and should continue to apply for positions in public service and within the city of Pelham.

“We had a great group of candidates and there will certainly be other opportunities for them to become involved whether on the park advisory board or whatever openings may come up,” Mercer said.

DeLuca, a resident of Pelham since 2013, has a history in the world of education and has also served on a number of school improvement councils throughout her career.

As part of her interview, DeLuca described how her sons’ involvement in Boy Scouts had driven her own community involvement and her application to the advisory board.

“I have been involved with the Boy Scouts (Troop) 404 where we did a cleanup of the Pelham City Park,” DeLuca said. “We have also worked with the Pelham Senior Center and we helped make the flag retirement box with the American Legion Post 555, they are the sponsor of Troop 404. I have (also) done the Pelham Palooza.”

That involvement, and other aid she has presented to other community events, also fostered her own use and enjoyment of the city’s venues.

“I walk every day at Pelham City Park—it has been my safe haven—I adore it there and have got to know a lot of people,” DeLuca said. “I have just been so enamored at this explosion in Pelham and of the growth here. Even since 2020, seeing how much this city has been into the parks and recreation has just blown me away.”

DeLuca will now utilize her enjoyment of Pelham’s parks and those experiences in the capacity of advising their future development.

“Looking at the different aspects of what people bring to the advisory board, I don’t think we could object to having an additional park user (coming on board),” Mercer said.