, Salem, MA

September 27, 2013

Letter: Planning Board ignored residents' views

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

An open letter to Paul Guanci, president, Beverly City Council

Thank you for taking the time to allow me to speak at the recent public hearing on the proposed Brimbal Ave. development project. I felt that you and the other city councilors were respectful and courteous to all the community members offering their opinion last Thursday night.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the members of the Planning Board. It was evident they had a different agenda, which did not include taking the public’s opinion into consideration. Despite near-unanimous opposition to the proposal from the community residents, the Planning Board quickly voted in favor of a plan that clearly benefits other interests. It’s a wonder this was called a public hearing, when the public wasn’t heard.

It is sad when an outcry of that magnitude, demonstrated by the more than 500 community members in attendance, is actively ignored. It is clear to me the current mayor and appointed Planning Board are displaying preconceived callousness in shoving this plan through without appropriate consideration of public opinion.

I trust the deliberations and decisions of the city councilors will not be so aloof. I can only hope that the newly elected mayor and all city councilors will have the resolve to clean up this mess, with renewed consideration for public input and involvement.

Bill Soares