Developer’s Outburst Against Planning Board Member Out of Line

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Mr. Davis’s ill-advised call for the resignation of Tom Curley from the New Castle Planning Board should be unequivocally rejected. (No. Greeley Developer Calls on New Castle Planning Member to Resign,” Aug. 15-21)

The 50 North Greeley matter is not an application before either the Town Board or the Planning Board. Instead, it is a petition seeking a zoning law change before the Town Board.

The Planning Board does not have any decision-making role in this petition. The petition was referred to the Planning Board by the Town Board for comment. The Planning Board offered extensive comments to the Town Board with several memos. Planning Board discussions regarding the petition have been conducted in the open sunshine of public meetings. The memos and records of those discussions speak for themselves.

At our last meeting in July, before the summer break, Planning Board counsel advised that the official role of the Planning Board in connection with the zoning law petition had been completed. Counsel did not anticipate that the petition would be back before the Planning Board.

Mr. Davis may disagree with Mr. Curley and members of the Planning Board regarding his petition, but there is no legitimate justification for Mr. Davis’s outburst. Nothing in our Planning Board kit obligates members to surrender our First Amendment rights to free expression. Informed public comment – even comments that raise concerns about a matter that is before another board – is an important contributor to a healthy review process.

Bob Kirkwood
Planning Board Chair, Town of New Castle

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