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At the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen’s meeting of March 19, the board held a public hearing for a tree removal along Spring Street. It was pointed out by one of the tree warden election candidates that the hearing had not been properly advertised for two consecutive weeks, The selectmen’s office, evidently not knowing how to properly notice a public hearing, had to immediately stop their hearing and continue to another date.
What was truly amazing was shortly thereafter, when the Planning Board members in attendance were looking for support for a Town Meeting article to reduce the height and setback of future commercial wind turbines, Selectman Brian Bowcock used the embarrassment of the selectmen’s improper posting of the tree hearing as a reason the Planning Board article should not go to Town Meeting. He said he was trying to prevent the Planning Board from possibly making a mistake on posting like they did. Then he blurted out that the Planning Board’s special permit for the wind turbines caused the town to be sued. I think Brian Bowcock’s thinking gets windy when this issue of wind turbines comes up.
Mr. Bowcock only needs to look in the mirror for all the above mistakes. The selectmen’s office failed to properly post the public hearing for the tree and the selectmen’s office failed to properly notify the community of the renewal of the wind turbine application. The Planning Board in the 21 years I have been a member has never failed to properly notice a public hearing and we do it almost every single month!
The Planning Board has a professional file procedure in place to make sure we don’t errantly miss a public hearing notice, and we never do! Every permit decision we render has a state-mandated 20-day appeal period. Every article we submit to Town Meeting requires a super majority vote and then is reviewed by the Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley.
It’s a good thing Mr. Bowcock’s decisions as a selectman don’t require a 20-day appeal period, or review by state agencies, otherwise the town would be bankrupt with endless legal appeals.
Chairman, Fairhaven Planning Board
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