Bethany Bradley: Select Board’s overreach is a ‘slap in the face’

Published: 7/15/2021 12:13:45 PM

A recent Hadley Select Board meeting provided a textbook example of poor town governance when select board members hastily ousted Conservation Commission chair Paulette Kuzdeba. Why? Select Board members cited “complaints” from residents, but the only examples they could produce were cases of flagrant violations of environmental law.

Select Board members also made the spurious argument that the Conservation Commission would run more “efficiently” with fewer members, despite their current track record of extraordinary and tireless work. The Select Board ignored calls to delay discussion to a future meeting. The removal of chair Kuzdeba came over the strenuous objections of Conservation Commission members and staff, as well as many residents.

The Select Board’s overreach is a slap in the face to all Hadley residents who value environmental protection and want to see continued good stewardship of our farms, waterways and forests. For the same reason that we do not try to remove the police chief when a resident is annoyed by a speeding ticket, we should not allow the select board to pursue a mission of gutting the Conservation Commission because residents wish to flout wetlands protection laws.

I urge Hadley residents to call the Select Board and ask them to support environmental laws by reappointing Paulette Kuzdeba.

Bethany Bradley

Sunderland




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