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Response to letter

To the Valley News:

Recent statements made by Mr. Fenimore printed in your Aug. 25 issue are hardly worthy of comment, but still I feel compelled to address those made regarding the Comprehensive Plan.

For the record, the Planning Board members were appointed by the previous administration and were on board before Supervisor Bartley took office, so we can hardly be called on “her team.”

The Town Board has indeed appointed the Planning Board with the task of designing this plan. Article 5.01 of our Land Use Local Law and Regulations (LULLR) states that the first duty of the Planning Board is to “coordinate the establishment of a town comprehensive plan.” We did not have to be assigned or reassigned this task; it was already part of our local law.

In addition to the Planning Board, the town sought participation from the community to work on this plan and asked for letters of interest. Three members of the community responded and two have joined with the Planning Board in this endeavor. At the March 20 Town Board meeting, Mr. Fenimore attempted to bypass the town's requirement for advertising for these positions by trying to install three people to this planning group without going through the process dictated by the Town Board. He was stopped in his tracks, however, when reminded of this requirement to advertise, which, incredibly, was made as a result of his motion at the Feb. 21 Town Board meeting! And it is interesting to note that his chosen three never bothered to submit a letter of interest and to date have yet to attend a single workshop.

As to town-wide zoning, it's already here! In the hamlet it falls under the LULLR and outside the hamlet under the APA. There is not enough time or enough grant money available to consider such a daunting task as making zoning changes outside the hamlet. The sheer volume of work that it would entail is simply not an option, and I believe, would be a total waste of resources.

Perhaps if Mr. Fenimore attended the latest workshop on Aug. 18, to which he was invited, he would have been enlightened, and surely impressed, by the level of enthusiasm, the extent of ideas and the vision of some of the folks in our town. I would encourage him to take part in the process where he can see for himself what honest and thoughtful dialogue and working together as a community can really accomplish. The process itself is interesting and thought-provoking and is a unique opportunity for our town.

Evelyn Hatch

Member, Elizabethtown

Planning Board

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