Need total town transparency

After viewing a recording of Thursday night’s Planning Commission meeting it was very apparent that Sueayn Wood’s letter to the editor in the May 9 Shelburne News regarding the public’s perception of possible conflict of interest on the part of some of our elected and appointed town representatives struck a nerve. Commissioner Kate Lalley and Alison Cranmer, Vice Chair of the Selectboard, who was present in the audience, expressed their frustration with what they considered to be an unfair indictment of their charitable civic contributions.  However, there was no further discussion of how to address and alleviate the public’s concerns about elected and appointed officials professions and potential conflict of interest circumstances in the future and there was no motion to include bios of all Selectboard and Commission members on the official town website for all Shelburne residents to see.  Total transparency in town government should always be the goal of our officials in order to maintain the confidence of the public who elected them.
I was very pleased that my wife raised this issue, not to discount anyone who gives their time to serve, but to reemphasize that it is the responsibility of such committees to represent the residents of the town’s wishes over that of outside developers.  The town already has a Town Plan and there is a serious question as to why after 10 years it is being disregarded.  In addition, recommendations from this committee should not and cannot be put forward without complete studies of the many potentially harmful impacts any such development will undoubtedly bring.
I would urge all Shelburne residents to keep a very watchful eye on these proposals in order to keep our “green” areas “green” and maintain our small town integrity.
Philip Wood, Shelburne

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