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Letter: We think for ourselves

Planning Board Chairwoman Wedegartner’s Nov. 27 “My Turn” claims to debunk purported untruths about the French King project, yet it is riddled with inaccuracies.

Ms. Wedegartner says town councilors “rarely” attend Planning Board hearings: untrue. Prior to joining the Greenfield Town Council, I attended Planning Board hearings on the French King project. Councilors-to-be Renaud and Zaltzberg were also present. I witnessed open disdain for members of the public who criticized the board’s affinity for unrestricted development. I heard audience members boo Mr. Norman when he tried to speak. I saw no acknowledgement of the 1,200 residents who signed a petition calling for a smaller store. The refusal of members of this board to recognize diversity of opinion and work toward a compromise factored in my decision to run for office.

I personally know one highly qualified resident who was denied an appointment by Mayor Forgey due to his stance on unrestricted French King development.

By linking President Wisnewski and Mr. Norman, Ms. Wedegartner implies that Mr. Norman has sweeping influence over the council. This is asinine. Outside of his appearance at a few public meetings, I have yet to even meet Mr. Norman. The council is made up of 13 residents of diverse background and opinion, who share a commitment to public service and are qualified to think for themselves.

Ms. Wedegartner claims that the Town Council has used a “single issue” to “obstruct” the mayor and the Planning Board: untrue. The councilors who voted against Mr. Allen’s reappointment clearly and respectfully stated their concerns about the composition and role of the Planning Board. Far from “obstructing,” the council fulfilled its role as the legislative branch of town government, as outlined in our charter. The Planning Board would do well to follow our example of how collaborative and transparent government should work.

HILLARY HOFFMAN

vice president, Greenfield Town Council

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