Volume 105, Number 29 - July 17, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
by Stephen Crane
John Fogerty has been chosen as the new chairman of the Pinedale Planning and Zoning Commission. He replaces Paul Rock, who was fired by Mayor Steve Smith in mid-June.
Mayor Smith supported their vote, underscoring the importance that the commission decided who filled the vacant post.
“I think it’s good,” Smith said of the vote. “I trust their decision (to elect Fogerty).”
Fogerty has been a member of the commission since late last year, and his primary concern is the energy boom’s effect on Pinedale and the tendency to overdevelop an area in which an economy grows so quickly.
“We need to be proactive, rather than reactive in handling this level of growth,” Fogerty explained. “We need to strengthen the infrastructure we have now, while the money is here. And we need to be conscious of where the town will be 10 or 20 years down the road, when the energy development has slowed.”
He also hopes that constructive dialogue can be reestablished between the commission and the Town Council.
“Hopefully, we can work out our differences and make some positive changes in the way our town handles (these issues),” Fogerty said. “We’re looking to work together with the Town Council and with our town staff and with other people in bringing new ideas, including the historical society.”
Fogerty was nominated for the position by Barbara Boyce, and Pam Curry seconded the nomination, leading to a unanimous vote by all present.
Curry and other members of the commission are optimistic that Fogerty will steer the group in the right direction. “John does a good job,” Curry said. “He always does his homework and comes prepared to the meetings.”
It’s a sentiment shared by fellow commission member Janet Bellis.
“I like him,” said Bellis. “I think he’s done a really good job. He’s gone out of his way to study the SEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement), zoning, among other things. And I think he cares very much. He’s willing to work with both the public and the board. And I think he sees the importance of listening to everyone’s point of view.”
Due to the vacant spot left on the commission by Rock’s absence, the Town of Pinedale has advertised for applications from anyone interested in filling the void. “We’re going to wait at least another week,” Smith said Monday night. “And see what kind of applications we have coming in.”
He will then choose a new commission member from among the applicants to serve with Fogerty and the rest of the group.
Whomever is chosen will have their work cut out for them as Pinedale grapples with the growth brought by the energy boom. And with Fogerty at the helm, all involved hope for smooth sailing.
Fogerty, himself, is embracing his new role with humility.
“I’m happy to serve the town of Pinedale in whatever capacity I can.”
Photo credits: Roundup file photo
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