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Resignations reduce Chatham Planning Board, ZBA

Dec 22, 2016 7:00 am

Karrie Allen is reporting in the Chatham Courier the town of Chatham is looking to fill nine positions in the coming year. Beginning in November, five members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, three from the Planning Board and the town historian all submitted letters of resignation to Town Supervisor Maria Lull. To balance the town's $3.4 million 2017 budget, the Town Board last month cut the salaries of the Planning Board and ZBA, and also changed the status of the town historian position from paid to volunteer. Town historian Catharine Bell chose not to continue as a volunteer because, as she told board member Henry Swartz, the board made the change without consulting her. “She was highly insulted,” Swartz said. However, Allen writes, the Planning Board and ZBA resignations were not prompted by the pay cuts. Those officials, including the chairs of both the ZBA and Planning Board, cited instead a litany of other issues, including discontent with the Town Board and the "direction the town is taking." ZBA Chairman David Everett, whose resignation is effective, Fri., Dec. 23, pointed out that with these departures more than 100 years of zoning and planning expertise has been lost. Lull released a statement acknowledging the resignations, and offered thanks and appreciation for their service. Lull said the town has received inquires from qualified candidates and interviews will begin in January. Read the full story in the Chatham Courier.