Letter to the Editor: Clear Evidence–and a Call for Civility
[Editor’s note: this letter from first selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice references the Nov. 28 article, “Fireworks at P&Z as Ridgefield Road Moratorium Denied,” and comments made in that article by Patricia Frisch and Vicki Mavis suggesting a resolution adopted by the Planning & Zoning Commission after a vote was prepared in advance by someone other than Wilton’s town planner, as is the standard procedure.]
To the Editor:
I am writing regarding your Nov. 28 article, “Fireworks at P&Z as Ridgefield Road Moratorium Denied.” There is reported information which I would like to correct. The two draft resolutions, one for approval and one for denial, were written by Town Planner Bob Nerney after consultation with Town Counsel Ira Bloom, and one correction was added by Assistant Town Planner Daphne White. I have been assured by Mr. Nerney and Mr. Bloom that this is standard practice. The two resolutions summarized the main points that had been raised in the public hearings. They were made available to P&Z members as early as 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, 2017, so that P&Z members would have ample time to review them before they met on November 27, 2017.
It should be noted that Ms. [Patti] Frisch contacted Bob Nerney in advance of the November 27 meeting and inquired about potential outside assistance with the resolution. Bob informed her that this was not allowed and that it was his job to prepare the resolution.
The day after the meeting, Ms. Kelly Morron, a resident and attendee of the meeting, filed a FOIA request seeking all records related to the drafting of the resolution. The response to her request, which I am including with this letter, provided clear evidence that Bob Nerney was the author of the initial drafts and received comments only from Town Counsel and a correction from the Assistant Town Planner.
Over the last year there have been many conversations about a decline in civility within our community. The video of this meeting will be playing on Channel 79. As the public watches, I would like your readers to ask themselves two questions: Is this the way we want to conduct business? Is this the type of community we want to be? If the answers to these questions are no, then please work with us to change and move towards a more civil, respectful and understanding community.
Lynne A Vanderslice
Town of Wilton
FOIA Request and Town Response
First selectwoman Vanderslice has supplied GMW with a copy of the FOIA request, here. Additionally, Kelly Morron, who filed the request, contacted GMW separately and offered to send us a copy of the FOIA request. It is shown here, and is followed by Vanderslice’s response.
We are in receipt of your FOIA request dated November 28, 2017. This email serves as both an acknowledgment and a response.
Town Planner Robert Nerney prepared two initial draft resolutions, one for approval and other for denial. Both are attached.
Town Planner Robert Nerney made further edits to the draft resolutions. Both are attached.
A date change was made which resulted in the third and final draft resolutions. Both are attached
Town Planner Robert Nerney, Assistant Town Planner and Admin Assistant Lorraine Russo exchanged emails. Those emails are attached.
The two final draft resolutions were made available to the Planning and Zoning Commission members in hard copy on Wed, November 22nd.
There was communication between Robert Nerney and Town Counsel Ira Bloom. Of course that is privileged.
Town Planner Robert Nerney emailed V. Mavis and P. Frisch copies of the final draft resolutions. P. Frisch emailed inquiring if anyone helped with the drafts. Town Planner responded. Those emails are attached.
Town Counsel has not yet submitted a bill for his time, therefore there is not a responsive document for this aspect of your request.
No additional attorneys or services were used by Town Counsel or the Town for this matter, therefore there are no responsive documents for this aspect of your request.
All of the information being provided is in digital format. As such there is no charge.
The information provided in this email is the Town’s complete response to your request.
Please let me know if you have any difficulty opening the attachement.
Civility above all. Each public appearance, each public comment, each social media thread is an opportunity for us to present Wilton as a positive, supportive, and respectful community. First impressions matter and public perception is hard to change.
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