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01/14/2020 ZBA Minutes



Tuesday January 14, 2020



6:00 pm

Present:  Andrea Bryant Chair, Patrick Doughty Vice Chair, Shane MacElhiney, Kimberly Johnson

All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance

Chair Bryant opened the meeting at 6:03pm.  She then read the Agenda.

Agenda item:

Accept Amy Delventhal resignation.  (1 year remaining)

Mr. Doughty made a motion to accept Amy Delventhal’s resignation to the ZBA and Shane MacElhiney seconded.   All in favor 4-0.

Mr. Doughty recommended a note be sent to Amy thanking her for all her work. The board agreed with that idea.

Nomination for alternates:

Kim Johnson nominated Patrick Doughty as Vice Chair; Shane MacElhiney seconded motion.

All voted in favor 4-0.

Chair Bryant said the board should consider alternates because there are only four members. It is possible the board could lack a quorum for an application.

She also said Ruth Heintz, who is attending the meeting, has shown interest in becoming an alternate for the past year.  She submitted a letter stating her intent to become an alternate in December of 2018.  She was never recognized by the ZBA as an alternate but is very interested in helping.

Shane MacElhiney asked how long an alternate’s tenure is.  He was told it is three years.

Cheryl Jensen, a member of the audience, said the terms should be staggered and by appointing Ruth this year it would help.

Chair Bryant made a motion to appoint Ms. Heintz as an alternate and it was seconded by Mr. MacElhiney.

Board discussion

Mr. Doughty said he wanted to wait until after the election in March to elect an alternate.  Then the ZBA would have a full board. Ms. Johnson agreed.  

Vote was 2-2

Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Doughty voted against Ms. Heintz being an alternate. Mr. MacElhiney and Chair Bryant voted yes.

The tie vote meant the motion was defeated.  2-2   motion failed

Mrs. Jensen said the two who voted “no” should be ashamed of themselves.  She said it was terrible that board members can’t get along.

Deb Bayley said that the board was back where it started with no alternates.

Rules of procedure

The board also reviewed the rules of procedure. That includes how often the board should meet.

Mr. MacElhiney said he agreed with Chairman Bryant and would like to have quarterly meetings to learn more about the process.

Mr. Doughty said when there were many applications the board met two and three times a month. He said when there are no applications he does not like to meet. Some people like being on a board that does not meet very often.

Chair Bryant expressed her frustration trying to call a meeting for the past three months.  She said it took months for the minutes of the last meeting to be approved and people have the right to see those minutes.

Chair Bryant reminded him that Deb Bayley was trying to get a quorum by asking board members if they could attend, and even asked for dates that they could attend.  Mr. Doughty said that is not the way to do it.

Chair Bryant expressed that there were many emails sent out with was no response from Kim Johnson or Mr. Doughty for a suggested date they could meet.

Chair Bryant reminded everyone that this board can meet quarterly by call of the chair.  Deb Bayley explained that she does not want to waste the public’s time by calling a meeting if there is not a quorum.  Mr. Doughty said there is no need to check on board members attending.

Chair Bryant said she is certain that an applicant has the right to require a full board and not having an alternate would cause a problem. Ruth Heintz said that applicants have the right to have a full board present.   Mr. Doughty said he does not think that is true because it is a volunteer board.

Cheryl Jensen asked the board to reconsider their vote on Ruth Heintz.  She said it was disgusting and an insult to Ruth Heintz who has been trying to volunteer for past two years.  It is just mystifying especially when you need to stagger the terms, she said.

Chris Jensen said that the town has trouble getting volunteers. This is a case of someone eager to help being rejected. He agreed it was insulting. He said Mrs. Johnson wants to wait until after the election. The board can have five alternates a still appoint four more people after the election.

Mr. Doughty said it was not personal. Mr. Jensen said it was still an insult to Ruth Heintz.

Minutes from October 8, 2019

There were a few minor changes and the minutes were approved 3-1 with Mr. Doughty abstaining.

Emails to the board

There was discussion on blind copying.  Mr. Doughty objected saying it implies that you are hiding something.  Mr. MacElhiney said he thinks everything should be open and transparent.

Deb Bayley asked if she could put a notice on the website for ZBA alternates so there might be some applicants after the election in March.

Mr. Doughty made a motion to post ZBA alternates and Mrs. Johnson seconded it. It passed 4-0.

Mr. Doughty made a motion to adjourn. It was seconded by Mr. MacElhiney and passed 4-0.

Next quarterly meeting scheduled for April 14, 2020 at 6pm.

Respectfully submitted

Deb Bayley

Planning/Zoning Clerk