Let’s involve residents in discussions that affect them

Staff reports

To the Editor,

How can Mr. Benesh justify his claim in the BEGWS’s application that “there was no need to do an environmental impact study because it wouldn’t significantly affect the Fairview area?” I invite you to ride down Fairview Drive, view this substation now under construction, and decide for yourself whether you feel Mr. Benesh’s claim was accurate.

If Mary Perham’s articles are accurate then every single entity that had oversight responsibility for this project appears to have accepted Mr. Benesh’s word without taking the time to question the information contained within the application.

What can be done to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself in some other area of our village?

First, I would recommend that the village board enact a law that requires all legal notices, and the chairpersons of the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, etc. to send a letter to those residents whose property borders on the property listed in the application informing them about the application, when it will be discussed and acted upon, and asking the recipients of those letters to notify the committee whether they wish to attend the meeting to express their approval or concerns about the proposed change. A copy of the letters sent and a list of all responses must be attached prior to the  chairman’s discussion of the application.

Second, to make it easier for interested parties to gain access to items that may be of interest to them the village should establish a website specifically for legal notices, board minutes, agenda, etc. that would be updated at the same time as the mayor and trustees receive their updates.

I hope that all future changes to our community will be handled with greater finesse and that the parties involved will take the time to personally explore with the residents of the neighborhood the impact that their decision will have.

Maureen B. Johnson

Bath, NY