Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So we had another one of those amusing, always revealing cyberspace boo boos on a listserve where, longtime Amherst Town Meeting member Hilda Greenbaum, sent a chatty missive to fellow longtime Town Meeting member Mary Wentworth lamenting “nasty” Moderator Harrison Gregg and encouraging a continued fight over upcoming zoning articles; and it accidentally went to over one hundred Town Meeting members.
Although she did send another to the entire group three minutes later with the subject line all in caps: “PLEASE DELETE WITHOUT READING” my previous post. Of course that probably doubled the readership of her mistaken email.
The battle line is drawn around the Zoning Board of Appeals (which Hilda Greenbaum is an Associate Member) giving up some of its veto power to the Planning Board, thus making it a tad easier for development to occur in the People’s Republic.
Fist off, Hilda Greenbaum is a significant Amherst property owner--both commercial and residential. Why is she on a quasi-judicial permitting board where her one vote can kill a proposal to increase competition by adding either commercial or residential property to the tax base?
Her email reveals: “Barbara Ford, Carolyn and I have been working together to avoid the whole issue of posting public meetings for telephone calls, emails and lunches. Jane joined in after the public meeting but again we had to be careful about open meetings and passed all messages through Carolyn.”
Barbara Ford is the ZBA Chair, Carolyn Holstein is a town employee acting as staff liaison, Hilda Greenbaum is an Associate Member and I assume “Jane” who “joined in” AFTER the public meeting is ZBA Associate Member Jane Ashby, thus making three.
According to Rules and Regulations for the ZBA posted on the Town Web cite:
“Three members/associate members shall constitute the panel for all public hearings or meetings. Three members/associate members shall constitute a quorum.”
So in spite of trying to “be careful about open meetings” they obviously were not careful enough. I guess they learned it from the Select board, who appointed them all.