More Government Work

I never know who reads this regularly or who reads only about certain topics. As a result, I remain continually surprised to see reaction from some postings.

Followers know that I’ve been chairing an RTM Sub Committee that is considering recommendations for ordinances as recommended by a Blue Ribbon Task Force. I’ve written after each of the first three meetings, recapping what we discussed and offering an opinion or two along the way.

As a result, some readers have decided our group must be misguided and we need to hear from people other than the town officials we’ve invited to speak. Last night, after having zero members of the public turn up for the first three meetings, we had four.

Our new item of business was to consider whether or not road ordinances need to enact for sub-divisions in town. Joining us were the head of Town Planning & Zoning, Joe Devonshuk (who I worked with closely when I served on the Parking Authority) and Public Works director Rich White. I thought listening to them would take longer but we pretty much ran through their concerns (or lack thereof) in about 30 minutes which was swell.

By now it was becoming clear that as far as the town officials we have spoke with were concerned, either the Task Force was being over-zealous with their recommendations or they were comfortable with the way things were working and weren’t really looking for drastic changes (and/or more work).

Returning to old business, we welcomed our guests and invited them to speak their minds, although I asked that we segregate topics to avoid confusion. We started in on the need for some kind of tree ordinance. The passion came through clearly and early on, and it was helpful.

Harry Ackley heard some of the points, made some connections and suddenly realized some such ordinance could actually help preserve some of the older trees – and possibly even homes – in certain sections of town.

We had a tougher time wrapping our heads around the best approach to stone walls given the variety already in town and the subjective nature of stone walls in general. This one will be tougher to solve, I suspect.

On the Demolition Delay, we were already leaning towards some additional time and most of us were swayed by the convincing arguments made by several of the speakers.

Once they left, we shifted to executive session and spent maybe another hour hashing through what we had heard and how we wanted to act. After all, we’ve now spent three meetings talking about these three items so a consensus needs to be reached and draft ordinances need to be written. The conversation was spirited and I think we’re finally resolving the issues and can definitively get things done over the next few meetings.

Got home after 10:30 but it was a productive and enlightening night.