BOLTON LANDING - A late-night Bolton Town Board resolution, passed in executive session without public involvement, has some citizens crying foul after a town official was reappointed, then voted out on the same day.
At the Jan. 6 town organizational meeting, the town board passed a resolution which re-appointed Meredith McComb to a second term on the Bolton Zoning Board of Appeals. After adjournment, the board went to executive session and by the end of the meeting McComb was no longer a member of the ZBA.
"The town board decided to get rid of me in total secrecy only hours after re-appointing me in front of the public," McComb said Jan. 29. "I believe the town is using the charge of bias in order to remove anyone with environmental views -they don't like all the digging for information I do."
McComb said that she was made aware of her removal on Jan. 7 when Bolton Supervisor Kathleen Simmes notified her by telephone.
"All she told me was that the town board removed me in executive session, citing bias as their reasoning," McComb said.
Simmes was contacted Thursday, but she declined to comment.
"I am not getting involved," Simmes said.
McComb said that over the last four years she has repeatedly caused a stir with fellow ZBA members because of her somewhat critical eye which she applies to proposed development projects on Lake George. Her skepticism of the proposed changes to zoning laws has only increased conflict with town officials and board members, she said.
"I am in favor of upholding the code which is in line with Bolton's adopted Master Plan and protects the lake's water quality," McComb said. "I have no problem with development, but I just think it should be in a sustainable manner."
McComb has criticized the proposed zoning changes because they would increase allowable hamlet commercial density nearly threefold.
McComb said that her relationships with members of the town board and town planning and zoning boards began to crumble in 2007 when she was seen riding in a vehicle with a member of the environmental organization, the Lake George Association.
"In my time on the ZBA I have voted Yes on 188 out of 206 total votes," McComb said. "To believe that we should care about the quality of the environment we live in is not bias."
The removal of McComb came as a surprise to Bolton ZBA Chairman Greg Smith.
"I didn't even realize she was up for reappointment," Smith said Friday. "I was just told the next day that it was a decision the town board made in executive session."
Smith declined to comment on McComb's performance while a member of the ZBA or her prior term spent as a member of the town planning board.