Late last month, Montpelier’s planning director sent to The Times Argus a copy of a memo she wrote to the city manager only a few days before. She did not send the memo to any of the Planning Commission members whom the memo smeared. In my case, she claims that I have a conflict of interest because my clients include gas station owners.
I am proud to oppose the planning director’s proposal to expand the area on lower Berlin Street devoted to more intense commercial uses such as gas stations. More intense usage in this area unduly compromises the quality of residential life on Prospect Street.
I doubt my clients are aware of the planning director’s proposal or my opposition to it. Certainly none has ever discussed the issue with me.
How my clients feel about any proposal on which I vote is irrelevant. As I have during my almost 30 years of service to the city, if I have a conflict, I disclose it and I do not vote. Because I do not have a conflict and because my position as a planning commissioner requires me to work in the best interests of the city, I opposed the planning director’s proposal on its merits because it is simply a bad idea.
I look forward to the day when civility returns and the Planning Commission can discuss and resolve issues on their merits without fear of unjustified accusations from the planning director.
The writer is vice chairman of the Montpelier Planning Commission.
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