Nelson Town Board to amend town law

Change would allow alternate members on planning and zoning boards

— The Nelson Town Board is preparing to amend its town law to allow for alternate members to be added to both the town planning board and zoning board of appeals. The change is being made to ensure a full complement of each board when in session if a member is absent.

“This is kind of like an alternate on a jury,” said Town Attorney Jim Stokes at the board’s Feb. 14 regular meeting. “The alternate would only vote because of a conflict of interest [by another board member] or an absence, or for a quorum issue.”

The town planning board has seven members, each serving a term of seven years. The ZBA has five members, each serving a term of five years.

Both boards recently had vacancies occur, with Tom Harvey resigning from the ZBA in 2012 and Holly Ioset resigning from the planning board in 2012. Jeff Rubenstein, chair of the ZBA, will also be leaving his position soon after he moves to Madison.

In January, the town board and the chairs of the planning and zoning boards interviewed four candidates for the two vacant positions and appointed John Tobin, an engineer from Erieville, to the ZBA and Sean Hagan, a real estate agent from Erieville, to the planning board.

“We were really blessed with great candidates [and we appointed] two very capable people,” Nelson Town Supervisor Roger Bradstreet said at the board’s Feb. 14 meeting. “We’ll use all four applicants in some way in the future.”

The board intends to appoint the other two planning board and ZBA applicants — Jeff Spaulding, of Erieville, and Eric Lints, of Nelson — as alternates to the boards once the amendation to the zoning law is passed, Bradstreet said. The board previously decided at its January meeting to appoint Lints to the ZBA upon the resignation later this year of Rubenstein.

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