Select Board's Efforts With STR Articles Should Be Applauded

Katherine Murphy •

To the editor,

What follows is verbatim from The I&M's breaking news article of Wednesday, April 3rd:

"Steven Cohen, the only person who submitted a zoning bylaw addressing short-term rentals in time for Annual Town Meeting, said it was unfair that competing articles were being considered on the same day as the Annual Town Meeting.

“Other people are now seeking special treatment, at the last minute,” he said. “It’s somewhat offensive to the public, not to mention what it would cost to do a Special Town Meeting on this timeline.”

Steve Cohen's comments are plain wrong and cast aspersions on Matt Heffenreffer, PNNF, and Dawn Hill Holdgate. Neither of these individuals nor the organization is going rogue or "seeking special treatment." In fact, our Select Board brought up the idea of needing a "compromise" STR article during an earlier meeting in March, and this is what they were responding to by bringing their proposed warrant articles forward for discussion in a public forum. They were merely doing what was asked by our Select Board and shouldn't be pilloried. Instead, they should be applauded for their efforts.

I'm not sure Mr. Cohen gets to speak for the public. I'm a member of the public, and yet I had no idea this was "offensive!"  As for the cost of holding a Special Town Meeting and the work it would entail for various municipal departments and employees? I honestly feel for those employees, knowing no one wants more work piled on during an especially busy and crucial point in the year, but at the same time, I have to ask...isn't this their job?

Respectfully submitted,

Katherine Murphy

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