Former Warren zoning chair: I still want to serve town

To the editor:
The December 18 edition of the Times-Gazette carried an article entitled “Town council passes on Gerhardt appointment; chairman off board.”Although my request for the reason(s) for this action by the council has yet to be successful, something can be inferred by Councilman Joseph DePasquale’s comments regarding my “temper” and “unprofessional conduct.” To set the record straight from my point of view, it is true that on a single occasion I did have a heated exchange with a town staff member and did, in fact, lose my temper. In this instance, I was advocating for an elderly applicant whose approval had been delayed for two years by court action. I asked the town staff member for some assistance in facilitating the recording of the decision and found him unresponsive and unhelpful. I subsequently apologized to both the town employee and the town manager.In my 13 years of service to Warren on both the Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Review, I have devoted hundreds and hundreds of hours to meetings and site visits. To my knowledge, there have been few if any complaints as to how meetings were chaired or the decisions that resulted.Given this history, it is unfortunate that a single regrettable instance apparently resulted in the council’s decision. I had offered to discuss the matter with the council on several occasions but this did not happen and there was no opportunity at the council meeting to provide my perspective. I am proud of my service to the town and clearly do not regard myself as “unprofessional.” If I had an “attitude problem,” it may be as a result of trying to see that applicants were treated in a fair, equitable and timely manner.Perhaps in the future there will be another opportunity for me to be of service to the Town of Warren.

Mike Gerhardt

39 Bagy Wrinkle Cove

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