Saturday, May 31, 2008

Short Science

This is what I know about what happened at the Bolton DRB meeting last Wednesday.

1-There was a packed house - probably 40 people - to listen to a warned meeting on the Bolton Valley Resort expansion.
2-Everyone was seated except for those that couldn't find seats - and there were about 15 or 20 of those people.
3-It was announced after a short time that you must sign up for which ever meeting you were interested because there were going to be three different meetings.
4-It was my understanding that all three meetings related directly to the discussion about the development by the Bolton Valley Resort.
5-I didn't see everyone in the place sign up and identify their preference for the meeting.
6-It occurred to me that I and maybe others wanted to be present for all the meetings.
7-The curator told the crowd that there would be a separate Master Plan Meeting later in the evening in a location 1/4 mile away.
8-Everyone - not most - Everyone left (except me) when that announcement was made.
9-I didn't leave.
10-They called the meeting to order
11-They seemed to me uncomfortable with my presence.
12-I was told by someone involved in the meeting but not part of the DRB that the other meeting was down the street.
13-I wondered if this was a public meeting, even though I knew it was.
14-I wondered why everyone left.
15-After a bumbling introduction by the "chairwoman" it was introduced that a member of the DRB had submitted plans to landscape the town offices.
16-The fact that the person submitting the plan was a member of the DRB was made clear shortly after introducing that same person. THe chairwoman said that the member submitting the plan was to recuse himself from the vote because he was a member. He said he would recuse himself.
17-Immediately after the brief presentation of the plan - the same member who submitted the plan and was a member of the DRB was identified to also be the representative of the town of Bolton.
18-It was apparent to me that the same person that was submitting a plan for landscaping the town offices, was also a member of the board who approves the plan and the town representative.
19-I heard no mention of money.
20-Doug Nedde came into the meeting after about 5 minutes and took a seat. he didn't no participate beyond his presence.
21-Nedde's presence at the meeting verified to me the fact that this meeting, the one that everyone left, was, in fact, a meeting about the development by Bolton Valley Resort.
22-After about 10 minutes of sitting in the middle of empty chairs - facing the DRB and wondering why no one else was here and wondering what the DRB was thinking about my presence...I got up and left.
23-I am currently in the process of getting a transcript of the meeting and after one call as of today have been told it is not ready yet...I will keep trying.

without making any judgments about the what I am about to say...I say it as my conclusion, thus far, not fact, but opinion based on my experience above...

The meetings held that night were all directly related to the development taking place up at the mountain...
The curator of the meeting was at best confusing and inconsistent with her message. She first said the meetings were going to be run at the same time...shortly after and without any notice...she told the group that the Master Plan Meeting would be held in a different location - physically 1/4 mile down the road...not only did the meetings not happen simultaneously but the meeting that did take place that night was directly related to the issues that people came to explore. In essence...they cleared out a room of people who wanted to know more, who had a right to know more by, at best, not having any clue about the format of the night; a fact that I find difficult to believe seeing that there were more people at the meeting than I had ever seen at the town hall as well as the fact that the meeting had been warned in a way that was more public that I had ever seen. This meeting was planned for...everyone new about it...to change the format night of, to discourage public oversight or participation by misinformation or confusion, at best, means we need a better system and more accountability.

Regardless of what else happened that night and what it means...the fact that there was at least one person in that meeting whom represented three different and conflicting positions cannot be denied to me. One gentleman was the private contractor, the representative from the board that approves private contracts AND the representative from the town.

Needless to say - I love my Bolton. I love what it represents to me. I love the freedom and the independence. I love that there are Vermonters who care about the development that is the Bolton Valley Resort and I want to hear more. But I am disturbed in a deep way about what I witnesses at the DRB meeting last Wednesday and until I get more clarity on what exactly happened I will continue to let my mind run through all the possibilities, good, bad, ugly and otherwise.

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