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CPCS members probably would be outraged "if Southern had attended a meeting of the VSM development team and offered them similar comments/advice in private on how they could harness public opinion in support of their development." There is, however, a difference between a public official trying to ensure that citizens' best interests are served and a public official aiding a private developer in pursuit of private interests (i.e., profits). There's a difference between being objective and being impartial. Our representatives in government are supposed to be objective, but they are also supposed to be partial toward the community they serve. That's why they are considered to be "representatives".
Mr. Southern could work harder to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interests, but we have to be realistic: In Skaneateles, each of us is only one or two "degrees of separation" from every other resident. Isn't it unrealistic to believe that someone can be 100% impartial when friends, neighbors and family are involved?
It should also be noted that Mr. Southern soundly chastised the anti-development contingent attending the zoning board hearing on the light variance. At that time, it appeared that he was on the developer's side.
It would be nice if people on both sides of this issue would stick to the facts, not attempt to obscure the facts, and attempt to be civil in the process.
Last login: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
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