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WESTFIELD — Conservation Commission Chair David Doe recently announced his retirement from the board after 32 years of working for the city, 20 years on the commission, 15 as its chair, and 12 years on the School Committee.

“I’ve enjoyed the 20 years, but I think it’s time to hang it up,” he said at a Feb. 27 meeting.

Doe’s announcement comes after the retirement of James Murphy last November. Murphy, who stepped away to spend more time with his family, had spent 34 years and eight months on the board after appointed by then-Mayor George Varelas. Former Friends of Columbia Greenway Rail Trail board Chair Joe Giffune was appointed to replace him in December.

Giffune said that the board has lost years of experience lately. He asked if it would even be possible to find people with that experience. Doe said he wasn’t concerned. Being on the board requires people to teach themselves about conservation, he said, which they can do through the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissioners. The MACC offers meetings and educational sessions, he said. Their website also has information on topics like soils and hydrology.

“I have no concerns about you guys carrying on,” he said.

Conservation Director Anna Meassick said there are no minimum requirements to serving on the Conservation Commission, except being a Westfield resident and having a willingness to learn and to understand wetlands regulations. Before the 1990s, she said, the board did have specific requirements, such as one member having to be a woman, one a businessperson, one an engineer, and so on. But that made it hard to find volunteers who could fit the city’s needs, she said.

“You couldn’t get anybody appointed,” she said. “They got rid of that in the ’90s.”

Officially, Doe will leave the board at the end of April, giving him four more meetings to attend. In the meantime, he said he has spoken with Mayor Michael McCabe, who he said will try to appoint a replacement by then.

The commission will also need to elect a new chair by April. Doe said he’d be happy to explain to the new chair what to do to run the meetings. He said anyone on the commission could take the role, not necessarily the most senior members. He said he got the role 15 years ago because no one else wanted to do it.

After the meeting, Doe declined to give further comment on his retirement, saying he’d prefer to speak on it closer to April.

In other business, the board voted unanimously to seek an amendment to Westfield ordinances to include wetlands permitting as part of its powers and duties. The code currently gives the board powers under a Massachusetts law for open space and recreation, not wetlands. The change has to be approved at by the mayor and City Council first.

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