Gerhardt: Disappointed in Warren council’s decision not to interview me


Michael Gerhardt

To the editor:
The Warren Times-Gazette recently ran an article noting that, after 10 years of service on the Zoning Board, I had applied to serve on the the Planning Board.
At it’s meeting on March 8, the Town Council decided, as is their right, to appoint another applicant.
What concerns me is that “at their pleasure” they declined to offer me even an interview, indicating that I had been interviewed “previously” (several years ago, before a majority of the council had been elected). Had I been afforded this opportunity, I would have made the following points in behalf of my candidacy:
“I have been a resident of Warren for 14 years. Prior to moving to Warren, I rendered 10 years of service on the Barrington Planning Board (four as chair). Once in Warren, I served three years on the Conservation Commission and 10 years on the Zoning Board of Review (three as chair).
* Familiarity with land use patterns in Town as a result of numerous site visits over the last 10 years.
* Familiarity with our town’s Comprehensive Plan, since this a standard for most zoning decisions.
* Familiarity with the Warren’s Zoning Ordinance, the revision of which will be the Planning Board’s responsibility once a new Comprehensive Plan is approved.
* Familiarity with planning regulations and process, resulting in a minimal learning curve.”
I would have noted that I believe I had a demonstrated commitment to balancing town and applicant interests in a timely manner and an appreciation of how perceptions regarding how boards function affect the image of the town in the eyes of the business community and other applicants.
I was disappointed that the town council was apparently uninterested in having a full and current picture of what I and other applicants might bring to the table in service to Warren.
Mike Gerhardt
39 Bagy Wrinkle Cove
Note: Mr. Gerhardt was one of three applicants for the open planning board seat, which was given to 5 Reservoir Ave. resident Geofrey Hawley after an interview. The third applicant, James Leffers, MD, of 412 Seaview Ave., was also not interviewed, as councilors said hey had interviewed him previously for an open board seat.





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