Feb 21, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
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.
The creation of board alternates will not affect the appointments made for planning board and ZBA vacancies and is not only to be used to establish a board quorum, Stokes said. The alternates will be subject to the same training and rules as full board members and will attend every board meeting so they will be current on all issues before the board. But an alternate will not vote unless there is an absence or a need to vote due to another member’s conflict of interest, he said.
Each board will be allowed to have more than one alternate, but the same person cannot serve as an alternate on both boards.
Because the new rule to establish board alternates is an amendment to the current law, it requires a public hearing, which was scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Thursday, March 14, during the town board’s next regular meeting.
Also at the meeting:
—Bradstreet announced the town’s first renewable energy project has been established by a family on Argus Road, who installed solar panels on their home. “We are now on the map for the Solarize Madison program,” Bradstreet said. Solarize Madison is a community-focused renewable energy program promoting sustainable energy production to stabilize current and future energy costs. The goal is to bring at least 35 alternative energy projects to the county by working with state and county organizations. More information can be found at solarizemadison.com.
—Bradstreet announced that the town changed its electric company supplier, which will save the town five cents per kilowatt hour and “does not affect our relationship with National Grid.”
—The board approved a request by the New Woodstock Women’s Softball League to use the Erieville ball field.
—The board appointed Kevin Parker to the Erieville Water District Advisory Board. He will replace Cindy Decker.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.