November 8, 2006 Minutes

These minutes were posted by the Ethics.

Town of Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Ethics Committee
85 Main Street
Pittsfield, New Hampshire 03263
Date/Time : Wednesday November 8, 2006 7pm
Location : Town Hall, Small meeting room
Attending : G. Amnott , M. Bahr, H. Sanborn, R. Vien, H. Vogt,
Members of Public : J. Leanarts, R. Elliott and counsel B. Guida, L. Ferstenberger, A.
Morse, D. Keeley
Excused Absence : none
Unexcused Absence : none
Quorum? : Yes
1. Meeting was called to order at 7:00pm
2. Agenda for the meeting was reviewed by the Chairman.
3. Hugh Sanborn recused himself from the discussion of the complaint submitted by Mr.
John Leanarts.
4. The PreHearing was begun for the Complaint by Mr. John Leanarts against Mr.
Robert Elliott
A. The Committee agreed unanimously that the complaint met all criteria for the
Committee to continue to a Hearing. Motion by GA, Second by HV.
B. Mr. Leanarts described his complaint that Mr. Elliott should have recused himself
from a discussion at the Zoning Board meeting in question. The discussion was
regarding the request for a retail exception from someone leasing a building on
property abutting that owned by Mr. Elliott.
C. Mr. Elliott commented via Mr. Guida that he did not feel there was any conflict,
and there is no pecuniary interest and therefore no gain for Mr. Elliott from the
retail exception requested at the meeting. He stated that the meeting in question
resulted in the request for exception being discussed but no action was taken
either accepting or denying the request, and even if the request was accepted,
there is no gain and therefore no reason for recusal. He also stated that a second
zoning meeting was later held where the applicant’s request was again addressed,
and Mr. Elliot, in deference to Mr. Leanarts’ strong feelings on the subject, did
recuse himself.
D. Public Input was received. Mr. Ferstenberger, who stated in his opinion the key
issue was that if a retail exception hearing is waived is that or is it not an implicit
finding. Ms. Keeley stated that we can refer to the Master Plan to see the reason
for the retail exception, and that she believes Mr. Elliott does have pecuniary
interest because he has limited access to his current lot, and such access could be
granted from the owner of the lot in question. Mr. Ferstenberger further stated that
Mr. Elliott should have recused himself immediately in the meeting and didn’t
and that is the problem. Public input was then closed.
E. Mr. Leanarts reiterated that Mr. Elliott held the entire conversation at the meeting
as an official action, and by definition abutters have interest.
F. Mr. Elliott stated that he simply listened to the applicant explain the situation,
then observed that the applicant should not be there, there was no agenda or
personal issue on his part. He stated that if the special exception was needed the
result was unclear, and could likely have been given as they usually are.
G. Motion made to adjourn the meeting in order to investigate the issues further,
unanimously approved by the Committee. GA motion, RV second.
5. The next Hearing time was set at Wednesday, November 29 2006 at 7pm.
6. Meeting was adjourned by the Chairman.
Respectfully submitted by Secretary M. Bahr