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Ousting Peacock was bad move

10-24-14

Ousting Peacock was bad move

 

Here we go again. The Republicans are not acting in the best interests of the town.

At the selectmen meeting on Monday, Oct. 20, Republican Mike Peacock was renominated to a term on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Peacock was appointed in 2009 and became chairman in 2012. He initiated GPS mapping of the town and the creation of a grid system showing land uses (in the 23 zones!) with the goal of streamlining regulations. This work alone distinguishes him from any other planning and zoning member in decades.

But the fix was in.

The three Democrats voted in favor of this appointment. The four Republicans voted against it, without comment.

Mayor Candace Bouchard did her best to quickly move on, but Selectmen Candy Perez and George Closson pressed the issue, citing Peacock’s experience, knowledge, dedication and accomplishments.

Selectman Dan Langer piped in that his appointee, Mr. Martinez, would move the town in the right direction. Really? Based on what information? Neither of the other nominees, Gerald Martinez nor Chris Palmer, have sat on any commissions in town. Do they understand the laws, the process, the regulations? Are they familiar with the Plan of Conservation and Development? Do they even understand how the town runs?

Planning and Zoning is the most complicated commission. It operates under a complex set of state laws and local regulations and procedures. It takes years to understand these laws and regulations.

Obviously, inexperienced people get appointed and are then mentored by experienced commissioners. But this usually occurs when a commissioner resigns or does not wish to be reappointed. What is unusual in this instance is that an experienced, knowledgeable, accomplished commissioner, willing to serve again, was rejected.

Mayor Bouchard, Selectmen Pimentel, Albanesius and Langer cynically, and without cause or comment, dismissed a willing and experienced volunteer. To promote what?

Treating volunteers this way doesn’t pass the smell test. This is not the first time the Republicans have dismissed willing, experienced volunteers. So the question arises — who is pulling the strings?

Charlene LaVoie

Winsted

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