Volume 105, Number 31 - July 31, 2008
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Council rejects Heuck
The vacancy left by the dismissal of Paul Rock on Pinedale’s Planning and Zoning Committee remains unfilled.
Following advertisements by the town, only one application was received, and at the Town Council meeting Monday night, this application, submitted by Gary Heuck, was promptly rejected by three of the four council members.
Dave Smith raised the topic for discussion toward the end of the meeting, attempting to initiate the appointment process with Heuck’s application.
Without taking a formal vote, the three other council members quickly dismissed the prospect of accepting Heuck’s application.
Smith solicited discussion from the other members, but none was willing to talk. “I think the writing’s on the wall,” Mayor Stephen Smith said, filling the silence that followed Smith’s request. “I’d be happy to discuss it with you over a beer anytime you want.”
Given the fact he was the only applicant, Heuck was not pleased with the council’s decision. “They don’t want me in there rocking the boat, holding their feet to the fire,” Heuck said. “They’re just a bunch of hypocrites as far as I’m concerned.”
Heuck attributed the rejection of his application to the tendency for the council to seek like-minded people, citing the fact that when he was serving on the council, disagreements often arose. He specifically pointed to the approval of the BloomField Subdivision, when he was the only voice of opposition to the proposal.
“They’ve got to have everything their own little way,” Heuck continued.
Some council members offered their own opinions after the events unfolded.
“I would really like to see some more applications come in,” councilwoman Nylla Kunard said. “See who else applies.”
Without naming Heuck specifically, Kunard spoke of her own personal policy on public office, saying, “My policy is if I have an ax to grind or a personal vendetta or anything like that, I shouldn’t be running for a particular place.”
Councilman Chris House’s view was more direct.
“Well, I appreciate Gary’s service to the town in the years he’s been on the council, and I appreciate his input,” House said. “I just don’t feel he’d be a good fit with the present board we have.”
Councilman Smith, who initiated the discussion, was not pleased with Monday night’s result.
“I think they’re forgetting that Gary is qualified and received more votes (when running for Town Council) than Ms. Bellis (who was later appointed to P&Z),” said Smith. “So I’m not sure that’s really fair. “And that’s not being fair to the voters. There’s a fair amount of constituents who want him on there.”
“Somebody has to be willing to ask the tough questions,” Smith added, “to challenge the council, the town engineer, the town policy. And the council has chosen not to have those people on the zoning board.”
Mayor Smith reiterated that the search to fill the vacancy remains ongoing.
“We’re still accepting applications,” Smith said. “I’ve been talking to a couple of people, so we’ll wait and see what comes in.”
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