Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Selectboard Skullduggery!

So maybe I should delete my last two posts, because the July 10 ARA meeting that hot summer night must have been a figment of my imagination.

Was Selectman Rob Kusner actually there? After watching Monday night’s Select board meeting I can only wonder. He’s either crazy (like a fox) or…

Because it was so routine--what bureaucrats call “housekeeping”--I didn’t even mention that we started with an informal but unanimous agreement to a joint meeting with the Select board in August to fill a vacancy in the 5-member ARA (4 elected one appointed by the Governor, one spot currently open).

The Town Manger wrote it down in his little black book and he even mentioned that he had contacted Peg Roberts who agreed to apply. Since she served over 20 years with the ARA (mostly as Chair) we were all thrilled. In fact, Nancy Gordon (duly elected) said she was in Maine for August but fully supported Peg Roberts. Thus, the “straw vote” was unanimous.

Last March when I was elected with 67 write in’s (Vince O’Connor had 18) the ballot should have showed two openings. That, of course, doesn’t make my election any less credible--especially since I served as the Governor’s appointee for over ten years.

But according to cantankerous Kusner: “Also given the last election did not include the full number of vacancies on the ballot I think that calls into question whether the participation of the currently elected members is appropriate in electing the final one.”

Hmmmm…So Fran Van Treese, who has served over ten years (as Chair) duly elected each time, is suddenly not qualified to participate? Or Governor Romney appointee Jeanne Traester?

Twice Mr. Kusner declared “the Select board alone should be the body that appoints the interim member until the next election.” The others agreed and they set the “election” to a time/date certain: August 1’st at 7:00 pm.

Particularly galling (especially in PC Amherst) was Kusner’s ageism slap at Roberts when he stated into the camera: “I would hope we have more than one candidate,” (we need) “new dynamic people to serve.”

So why the power struggle over who gets to appoint this open seat? Well, the ARA does have the power of eminent domain; and did I mention that the ARA has the power of eminent domain? And Kusner is a power mad puppeteer.

The reason the ARA has eminent domain power is so that we can do DEVELOPMENT. Mr. Kusner, if he had his way, would turn back the clock to when the entire Happy Valley was submerged under Lake Hitchcock.

Stay tuned


chris said...

When Mr Kusner finishes stocking the ARA with like-minded land grabbers he still needs to get money to pay for the parcels Amherst takes. The Classic Chevrolet parcel has a current assesed value of $500,000. Of course, they could bluff an upgrade to their business to raise the price.

LarryK4 said...

Well, it's "historic" property so that should raise the price.

But I suppose Kusner would then argue the money could come from Community Preservation Funds (especially the historical portion which seems to be under spent)

Heck, were going to buy rocky outcroppings in North Amherst for $500,000 to $700,000 of State and CPAC $ to prevent most of Barry Roberts development.