Straight Talk

HONEST talk about local issues!

Truth, Part XII–It starts to sound right if you say it enough

repeat-after-meMr. Rand knows that he will have no problem getting his ‘family’ at the SAHC to ‘do the right thing’, but by now he must be realizing that the Planning and Zoning folks might be more like the crazy aunt you should keep in the closet.  October was closing in and the envelope needed to be licked and sealed.

It became obvious that it was time for massive smoke, tons of mirrors, and a pinch of misspeak.

(I will make my comments inside of this email … Email in blue – my comments in black.)

Mr. Rand explains to all:

Subject: Re: Frank Gallogly offer
From: Curtis Rand <crand@salisburyct.us>
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2011 13:11:43 -0400
To: JOHNNYCAKE BOOKS <johnnycake@snet.net>
CC: ‘Jon Higgins’ <jhiggins@ascendantcompliance.com>, ‘Judy Swanson’
<cavellswanson@yahoo.com>, ‘Dan Dwyer’ <dandwyer@johnnycakebooks.com>,
cristinrich@salisburyct.us, ‘Martin Whalen’ <fergiezip@comcast.net>, ‘Fred’
<fredschmidt@salisburyct.us>, ‘Allen Cockerline’ <grasscat@sbcglobal.net>, ‘Michael'<fenbois@aol.com>, Nancy Brusie <nbrusie@salisburyct.us>, “Alice B. Yoakum”<aliceyoakum@gmail.com>, “Donald K. Mayland” <mspscuba@yahoo.com>, Mat Kiefer<lamb.kiefer@snet.net>, “William F. Willis” <bwillis@foundersgrp.com>, Carol Dmytryshak<dmytryshak@comcast.net>, Tom Marrion<tmarrion@haslaw.com>, CHRISTOPHER DAKIN<dakelaw1111@att.net>, Joe Cleaveland
jcleaveland@salisburyct.us

Hi Dan   Indeed it is an alternative for the Town’s consideration . Last night we held a 2 hour hearing on both the Gallogly and Flint proposals. It was a posted meeting in the LJ, with physical copies on the firehouse (every door), and on the website. I estimate that about 60 people showed up for a discussion (official hearing) of each alternative.
While this is nice information, it doesn’t tell you anything about what people said at the meeting.

These are complex issues and the BaS was seeking opinions and facts from the townspeople and the proponents of the 2 proposals. In each proposal there are issues of codes,environmental conditions, residential vs commercial uses, town finances (as well as the financial goals of the several non-profit housing groups), architecture, historic registry requirements, open space, and many more.
All these complex issues, most of which are nothing more than pathetic smoke screens designed to eliminate the Workforce Housing proposal.

Given the zoning of the location and considering that affordable housing would get special zoning waivers under CT law since we fail to meet the 10% threshold, what are the zoning issues?

Code issues, as in building?  Hard to figure!

The environmental issue is a constant with any old building, however I will educate you later as to why this issue has been worked into the mix

Historic registry can have little impact even though it is hard to understand why this is an issue since both proposals were respectful of exterior preservation.

Open space?  Both proposals contained open space.

It just seems like Rand is making things up just to make it sound complicated.

No easy answers. As we mentioned last night, the BaS has received and rejected 2 other offers on the firehouse – we approved taking this to a Town Meeting because:
• it has no conditions, including environmental or mortgage
• it is highest offer received in more than 9 months of open listings with all local real estate firms
• it includes dedication of the green as open space
• it contemplates a restoration of the historic structures and putting at least the white
building back into commercial use,
• it satisfies the original goal at the Town Meeting to move the firehouse and use the
proceeds from a sale of the former firehouse to help defray the costs of the project.

This is an endorsement for the sale and is written with the intent to infer that the other proposal does not do the same things … an outright lie!  Once again we mislead folks with the sale of the old fire house mandate which was not adopted.

I spoke to Michael and I am able to come to the P&Z meeting on October 4th – perhaps the other BaS might join, and possibly Mr. Flint and Mr. Gallogly.
One of the next steps for the BaS is to draft some sort of a Call for a future Town Meeting to discuss this further and vote on one of these proposals. In the meantime, we may reach further into the community to see if the housing groups are interested in leading an effort to convert the property into affordable housing. We have signed a contract with Gallogly, so at least this proposal needs a Town vote- we are committed to sell the property by December 16th, conditional on Town Meeting approval.

Once again he repeats his ‘commitment’ to sell the property.  More interesting is his statement that the sale needs to go to Town Meeting because of the contract, however he seems to conveniently forget that his own board voted to send both proposals to a Town Meeting (kind of like the code of ethics in 2005 … Oops!)

This contract has been developed by the BaS and Town Attorney over the last few weeks.I have attached scanned copies of each proposal and I am also copying the Board of Finance so they have the same background information; the P&Z reference is #15 in the Gallogly/Town contract- perhaps Chuck Andres might be able to clarify the P&Z role in these proceedings.
Thanks to all and have a nice weekend.
CR

Planning and Zoning would discuss this at the October 4, 2011 meeting.

To be continued …

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