I don’t necessarily have an opinion about the Salisbury Hill situation (mostly because I don’t feel well-informed enough to have an opinion), but I’d like to point out this great letter to the WoMag editor by Jamie Vander Salm, who was previously featured in a WoMag article (broken link here; Google cache here).
The letter itself is very quotable, but I think the nomination for quote of the year might go to:
At the risk of stating the obvious: The very premise of any zoning law is that development is not presumptively “progress.”
One of Vander Salm’s points was that certain members of the Planning Board were both rude to him and overly sympathetic to the developers. While I — again — can’t agree or disagree with that, I certainly think we’ve seen enough cases of bizarre board behavior in the past year that we can’t dismiss his concerns completely.
I would like to remind the people of Worcester once again that those who serve on boards and commissions don’t just get their names magically plucked from the air. They applied to be on those boards. And there are numerous boards and commissions that have vacancies that need to be filled, including the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission, and the Citizen Advisory Council, which is the group that performs the initial vote on who should serve on a board.
You can find out how long someone has been serving on a board by going to the profile directory, selecting the board of your choice, and then clicking on the View Members link. I believe — though I am more than willing to be corrected — that someone can serve one term and be re-appointed for a second term, and that the expectation (though not always the practice) is that two consecutive terms are the limit.
I would highly recommend that those who feel any sort of passion towards or investment in the city to apply before the next hearing on June 30. Really, you have nothing to lose.
(Aside: I would also like to point out that this development exists off of Salisbury Street, and there are certain people in the city who think that those on the West Side have it easy, and the rest of us peons have to suck it up and deal. Well, the neighbors of Salisbury Hill have had to suck it up and deal for quite some time. The power in this city may have had a certain geographical focus thirty or forty years ago, but I think things are more complicated now.)