By STEVE JONES Staff writer

Mayor Joseph R. Fusco Jr. is wiping the slate clean and starting over with the Planning Board. He has replaced the entire five-member volunteer board with new members for 2012.

The board was not going to have any vacancies until July based on the normal term expirations. Instead, Fusco decided to ask for all five board members to step down. "There were no problems," Fusco said of the wholesale replacement. And the outgoing members did not balk, he said. "The other folks have been very gracious."

When the board met last on Jan. 3, it was chaired by James W. Cusack, whose term was set to expire in 2014. Vice Chair David Bovi’s term was to be up in 2013. The board’s longest serving member, Richard Fiorini, had a term ending in 2016. Two other members — Charles Schoff and Catherine Austin — were going to be stepping down early regardless of Fusco’s decision.

The new members will be Larry Daniello, Lorie Guerrieri, Thomas Roman, Nicholas Carletta and Leo Angelicola.

"I don’t know if we’re going to keep the same expiration dates," said Fusco. That, he said, is being researched by Corporation Counsel Timothy A. Benedict.

The board meets on the first Tuesday of each month at City Hall. Its role, according to the city website, is to provide "community input and advice to the Mayor, the City Council and the Department of Community and Economic Development on any matter affecting planning and development within the community.

The board reviews plans for subdivisions, applications for site plans for new or modified construction, applications for changes to the official zoning map, and requests for changes within Rome’s Historic District. The Board also reviews State Environmental Quality Review Act applications to determine the significance of the impact of proposed projects on the environment."

Fusco has made one new addition to the volunteer five-member Zoning Board of Appeals. He appointed Mark Esposito to fill a vacancy on the board, with Esposito participating in the Jan. 4 meeting. Board members serve five-year terms.

The current members and their term expiration dates are: Russell Johnson (July 1, 2012), Esposito (July 1, 2013), Joseph Pasqualetti (July 1, 2014), Jeff Foster (July 1, 2015) and Chair Joseph Mellace (July 1, 2016).

The Zoning Board reviews requests for exceptions to the Code of Ordinances, from disallowed uses such as a business in a residential area to dimensions beyond what is allowed such as a pool located too close to a lot line. The board meets on the first Wednesday of each month at City Hall.