COWncil Roundup – January 13th, 2009

January 23, 2009

The COWncil held its first meeting after its winter break. COWncil member Gordon was absent. Not much was covered in the short meeting, which was a bit of a surprise given the COWncil’s full agenda for the year. Nonetheless, you can watch the meeting here on Mootube.

New Mayor Peter Mason reported that there wasn’t anything to report from the closed meeting before the regular COWncil session. Apparently the closed session dealt with a meeting with legal counsel about anticipated litigation.

The Town proceeded with a nice ceremony thanking Irwin Kaplan for his service as Interim Director of Planning and Building. We cannot help to note the difference in how the departure of Hope Sullivan was treated as compared with other departures in this Town. Irwin Kaplan, while he has been a great asset to this Town, was on the job for only a few months and he was given a lovely plaque and thanks from the Town COWncil. Hope was given $40,000 and no thanks for her service. Her departure was successfully shrouded in secrecy.

After disposing of the consent calendar unanimously, the COWncil moo-ved to the meat of the meeting, the consideration of the Draft Historic Preservation Element. Assistant Town Manager Kevin Bryant gave a short background on the agenda item. He noted that the Element was being considered ahead of the rest of the General Plan revision, due to it having been worked on for so long and being more ready than other Elements of the Plan. If approved, final wording would be tweaked in the General Plan revision later on this year.

COWncilwoman Carol Ann Hodges mentioned that during a previous attempt to create such a program in 2001, there was a “great brouhaha” and fists were almost flying in the audience. We would be interested in discussing this history so please share your perspective with us.

There was a brief exchange about the Jackling House by Hodges and Town Manager Susan George. Hodges asked why, after an EIR was conducted for the Jackling House, it wasn’t included on a list of sites for historic preservation. Susan George stated that the COWncil at the time had instructed that no structures were to be put on any such list unless the property owner acquiesced and since the owner didn’t concur, the Staff’s hands were tied.

After hearing from the Woodside History Committee, it was unanimously voted to send the proposed Element to the Planning Commission for further public review before it comes back to the COWncil. If you are interested in the issues surrounding historic preservation, watch for our Belle alert.

Mayor Mason then noted that COWmittee assignments were coming up and that COWncil members should give him their preferences in the coming days. Susan George mentioned that there wasn’t anyone on the Town Attorney performance review committee, and COWncil members Romines and Tanner said they were interested in serving.

The meeting adjourned shortly thereafter.

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