Letter: Preferential treatment

Now that the hoopla over The Recorder article concerning Mr. Norman’s rewrite of the Conservation Commission Ordinance has died down, I’d like to toss in my two cents. I don’t understand the letters chastising the coverage. Frankly, I am glad The Recorder reported it; otherwise, I would not have known that certain people get preferential treatment from council members. I thought that was an ethical no-no. I guess I am naive.

Also, some people were upset with the editorial dealing with the situation. Anyone, as witnessed by the tone of the recent letters, has a right to express an opinion, including a Recorder editorial writer.

No one questioned Mr. Norman’s First Amendment right to free speech. What is questioned is the whole procedure of his submitting his ordinance rewrite.

Mr. Singer admitted that Mr. Norman is a big player in town with a lot of power and he wanted to pull him into the process. Although the Conservation Commission’s rewrite was public knowledge, why was Mr. Norman singled out to offer his suggestions? Talk about preferential treatment.

Why didn’t Mr. Norman just submit his suggestions to the Conservation Commission chairman? Now we have Mr. Wisnewski, Mr. Singer and Mr. Norman, all anti-large retail store advocates, finding nothing wrong with this procedure.

Mr. Norman is given preferential treatment in offering suggestions to rewrite an ordinance, which can affect the outcome of the project he opposes, and Mr. Wisnewski, Mr. Singer and others don’t find a problem with that. After all, Mr. Norman is a big player in town business.

I hate to back to the fox-and-hen-house analogy, but I just have to. The farmer asks the fox for suggestions for a new hen house. After all, the fox is an expert on hen houses because he has raided so many. A member of the Town Council asks Mr. Norman for suggestions about rewriting a wetlands ordinance. After all, Mr. Norman is an expert on wetlands because he has used this ploy to stop large retail stores before. Obviously, neither the fox nor Mr. Norman would offer suggestions that in any way would benefit their cause. Yeah, sure!

Thanks to The Recorder, I now know that if one is a big player in town politics, one can get preferential treatment. But, then again, isn’t that just politics — be it federal, state or a small town, like Greenfield?



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