The Town of Dryden Planning Board passed a resolution that dissolved its Building Energy Subcommittee after receiving several complaints from town residents regarding the transparency and actions of the subcommittee.
Five out of the seven board members present—Chairman John Keifer, Craig Anderson, Tony Salerno, David Weinstein and Martin Hatch—voted in favor of dissolving the subcommittee. Jim Skaley and Joe Wilson abstained from voting. Wilson said, “In my mind, morally and legally, we did nothing wrong,” following the voting.
The subcommittee was formed back in the fall of 2018 for the purpose of finding ways to reduce greenhouse gases.
Dryden Town residents present at the meeting accused the subcommittee of holding “illegal meetings” that were not given public notice beforehand.
“Here’s the only issue: nobody realized that any of these meetings were going on until all of the sudden, Facebook or whatever postings, it was being shown that, hey, there’s meetings,” one resident said.
The “illegal meetings” residents were referring to were meetings that were held at the households of some of the members of the Planning Board. Wilson, who was a member of the subcommittee, said those meetings did not violate any law.
“We did this very same thing at every subcommittee that I have seen in the three years I’ve been on the Planning Board do,” Wilson said. “Because under advisement of our town attorney we could meet and discuss what we might send to the Planning Board for review, we did so…And then, the Planning Board and particularly John [Kiefer] suggested we need this to be more public.”
Dryden resident Joe Osmeloski also shared his thoughts and opinions on the actions of the Planning Board and subcommittee.