To the editor:
New Chatham Town Board members Abi Mesick and Vance Pitkin, and Supervisor Donal Collins wasted no time showing us that their platform of transparency and inclusion was just campaign talk.
Without consulting the other two board members, posting a notice on the Town website or the newspaper to solicit applications — and without interviewing those who had already submitted applications — they made their appointments to the new Comprehensive Plan Update Review Committee.
Sworn in Jan. 1, by Jan. 2 it was a done deal — in secret, and very likely in violation of the NYS Open Meetings Law created to protect citizens from back-door dealing like this.
So who’d they pick? A pay-to-play team:
Councilwoman Abi Mesick: Ran against the existing comp plan and proposed zoning; promised to represent “the WHOLE town’ if elected. A promise already broken.
Co-Chair Jeanne Bowerman: Campaign donor; strongly against regulation of STRs, owner of an STR in Canaan, and several additional properties slated to become STRs.
Co-Chair Cindy Buckley: Campaign Donor
Jeff Cox: Campaign supporter
Dave Everett: Campaign worker
Tim Mackerer: Campaign Donor
Donna Staron: Campaign Donor
Advised that the Open Meetings Law prohibited behind-the-scenes activities such as the formation of this committee, Supervisor Collins said that they “did it before they were sworn in so it was OK.”
The questionable ethics and legality of this action is disturbing. They promised better government but this isn’t it.