(10/9) The board of commissioners rejected another
recommended planning commission member at their Oct. 2 meeting, even though
virtually all members said they approved of the nominee's qualifications.
Not appointed as a planning commission alternate member
was Tim O'Donnell, presently a member of the town parks and recreation
committee. Commissioner Glenn Blanchard had nominated O'Donnell for the
The board balked at the approval after Mayor James E.
Hoover expressed concerns over the lack of residency, race and gender diversity
on the planning commission.
Acknowledging that O'Donnell would be an appropriate
individual to serve on the planning commission because he (O'Donnell) "provides
a certain experience," the mayor said, "I'm concerned about the lack of
diversity in that group."
Suggesting that he would prefer to see someone on the
board not affiliated with a development, the mayor noted, "We currently have
members from Pembrook and Brookfield. To put another Pembrook resident (on the
board) at this time concerns me." Pointing out that the seats on planning are
for five-year terms, he said the board needs to "look long and hard" on
The planning commission is presently an all white, male
board, including Pembrook resident Rich Kapriva, Brookfield resident Tom
Cashour, and in-town resident Larry Little. Commissioner Blanchard serves as
liaison to the planning commission for the board of commissioners.
Hoover had previously nominated Catherine Forrence for
the planning commission, but the board failed to reject or appoint the local
resident. The recommendation died for lack of a second for either position.
Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town