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Town Council suggests planners
 attend town meetings

(4/23) Emmitsburg planning commission members were advised last Monday by the town council that if they want to stay on top of discussions of the draft comprehensive plan, they should consider attending the council meetings.

Council President Christopher V. Staiger stated, "There haveÖbeen some e-mails circulating around regarding inquiries by members of the planning commission about the mid-month meetings that we have on the comp plan."

"Perhaps there is some curiosity from individual planning commission members. I havenít heard anything from the planning commission as a body where they have asked for anything, but I have seen some e-mails," he said.

Regarding whether or not the council need to report back to the planning commission regarding revisions to the plan, Staiger stated, "Iím not sure if there is any obligation (by council) to communicate information (to the planning commission). "

Responding to the suggestion that the planning commission members be provided with working copies of council minutes, Town manager David Haller said, "As a practice, we donít release the minutes until they are approved by you, to the press or to anyone to any place. Theyíre not official minutes until you approve them."

"I think itís important to understand," Haller stated, "and this is no disrespect to them, but they have completed their work in the comprehensive plan update when they signed it off and moved it forward to you, though they do remain citizens and have an equity position and interest in that fashion."

As far as their direct involvement in the further development of the comprehensive plan update, he said, "they no longer technically have a role."

Staiger said, "I understand there might be a healthy amount of curiosity about what happened to their productÖ(but) the meetings are on TVÖplanning commission members can come to our meetings. Thereís a multiplicity of ways they can keep themselves appraised as to what is going on."

Councilwoman Joyce Rosensteel, who also serves as the councilís liaison to the planning commission, said, "Iím kind of shocked because I was at the last meeting and not one soul mentioned anything to me concerning that."

"I showed them how (Town Planner) Sue (Cipperly) was going over all the changes and making corrections and so forth and didnít get any response back concerning whether they wanted to know what we were doing or not. I really donít know what to say," she said.

Mayor James E. Hoover said, "Itís (the draft comprehensive plan update) now in this body (council). If they (the planning commission members) have questions or comments or whatever they need to come to a meeting and address that publicly."

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