Once again, something is fishy in the town of Paris.
Two years ago, voters approved a revision of the decades-old subdivision ordinance. In December 2008, a group of anonymous landowners, unhappy with the new ordinance, drafted a substitute ordinance petitioned with signatures of 221 voters.
The select board, in their wisdom, realized the Planning Board needed time to review the petitioned ordinance. They scheduled four public hearings and put the petitioned ordinance on the June 9 referendum ballot.
At the hearings, Planning Board member Bob Kirchherr went through the petitioned ordinance point by point. The petitioners sent their lawyer to the first hearing and he appeared at two others but left before the hearings got under way. The petitioners themselves never showed up, making it impossible for the Planning Board, the select board and the public to get answers about, among other things, safety concerns and possible statute violations.
Both the Planning Board and the select board have recommended that voters reject the petitioned ordinance.
Why have the petitioners chosen to hide themselves from public view? Are they unable to discuss their document? Do they hope voters will vote for it without understanding it? Do they hope that most people, except for their own group, won’t bother to show up at the polls? Although the current ordinance needs a few changes, the petitioners’ action is not the answer.
I urge town residents to join me at the polls on June 9 and vote to retain the current subdivision ordinance.

David Stanley, Paris


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