Response to editor Jason Emerson’s Opinion piece, “Is there a conflict of interest on the planning board against the proposed VSM campus?”


To the editor:

I want to clarify my comment that Town Planning Board Member Joe Southern and Town ZBA Chairman Dave Graham are “members” of CPCS. I used this in a larger context which the editor failed to grasp.

It would have been more accurate if I had said “supporters.” These gentlemen support the heart of our mission, which is to preserve the rural character of Skaneateles. They also support the Comprehensive Town Plan.

This is why we are happy they sit on their respective boards and I wanted the audience at the November 1 CPCS meeting to be aware of that. These and other local board members understand our perspective and represent it. This is how democracy is supposed to work.

I view CPCS as a community-minded group of hard working property owners, business owners and tax payers who organize specifically to provide a concise and respectful communication from Skaneateles residents to the boards.

Although we may disagree from time to time, CPCS’s goal has always been for the boards to view us as a partner, not an adversary.

In this spirit, all board members are cordially and enthusiastically invited to attend our meetings. Many have come and contributed their expertise and knowledge over the past 25 years. Board members, Town Supervisors and Trustees have regularly attended, and they’ve given good advice to CPCS.

When individual board members reach out and attend CPCS meetings, we ALL learn and we all benefit. This is not a conflict of interest; it is an act of open communication. It’s what good local government is all about. It’s what makes this community so great!

CPCS meetings are always open to the public. In fact, an architect for the VSM project was also in attendance on November 1. We consider him a supporter of CPCS’s mission, too.

The conversation about the proposal was open and all points of view were invited. The conversation is still open!

With respect I must say that the editorial in the Skaneateles PRESS completely misses this point. Instead it paints a picture that smart and moderate thinkers are somehow undermining the process. Exactly the opposite is true.



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