Regionally, the misalignment between the economy and its demographics is of grave concern

Take some time to look at this report, OUT OF ALIGNMENT
– it’s a must-read for all, especially those who want to find ways for our younger generation to afford to stay!

“Regionally, the misalignment between the economy and its demographics is of grave concern. Overall population growth is essentially flat, and in many areas is declining, dramatically impacting school enrollment. The rapid decline in K-12 population impacts not just our schools, but the availability of a homegrown workforce. The data reflects that the region is getting older, and people are having fewer children than needed to replace the population. Young working-age people, if given the opportunity, leave to seek employment elsewhere, and if they stay, are postponing the formation of families due to the cost of living. Furthermore, high-paying jobs lost in the last two decades have made way for low-skill, low-wage jobs often resulting in workers having to hold down two jobs just to balance their budget.

The ramifications of these trends are alarming.”

Click here: https://www.hvoutofalignment.com/

Please read and share. You can also download the full 44-page Part 1 here.

We’ll keep checking back and share Part 2 when that is available, which will include some suggestions for improvements.

NEW LEADERSHIP Voted in to Stop the Oppressive Zoning!

By a landslide victory of, Donal Collins is our new Town Supervisor Elect, defeating Maria Lull by 2:1.

In another striking defeat, Vance Pitkin and Abi Mesick will step into the Town Councilmen seats, beating Michael Richardon and Gabriella Sperry again 2:1.

We are all so grateful for all of our citizens who spent countless hours reading the zoning laws, coming to meetings, sending us emails, and working hard to keep Chatham rural.

Now that the election is over, let’s all reach across the aisle and work together! Join committees and stay involved!

Congratulations, Chatham!

Donal Collins: 915
Maria Lull: 496
Richards Hallock: 30

Vance Pitkin: 930
Abi Mesick: 921
Michael Richardson: 509
Gabriella Sperry: 497

The Inability of the Town Board to Address the Needs of the Disabled

Everyone knows that getting up to the second floor courtroom of the Chatham Town Court is difficult even for able people. It is nearly impossible for persons with any form of disability. As a long-time defense lawyer in that court over nearly 20 years I have witnessed great efforts disabled people make to attend court. You have not seen anything until you see a disabled veteran going up those marble steps on his knees.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II (1990) requires reasonable access be provided to all governmental activities. That requirement is nearly 30 years old. The Chatham Town Board clearly does not see this to be an important obligation for attention. Nothing has been done.

It is true that in 2015 the DeGroodt Board, with Maria Lull as a member, did have discussions with the Village, going to the point of getting construction estimates for various ways to provide an accessible courtroom. However, nothing has been done and the problem remains. Only recently a disabled woman who did get to the courtroom in the Tracy Hall could reportedly not get down to the first floor. She, it seems, had to be carried down by two court officers in a chair. Recently.  The problem remains, having been overtaken by such important matters as decibel levels, trash cans, and numbers of accessory buildings on property. Do these facts show that these Board members running for election Tuesday have our community interests at heart?

The ADA is not local law. Chatham must comply with it. It will take new and sympathetic blood on the Board to do so. I know this subject is on the minds of the candidates Collins, Pitkin, and Mesick. I recommend voting for them to rid our town of this scandal.

Bob Linville
Old Chatham

To All the Residents of Chatham

As we approach Election Day it is appropriate to consider what we have learned about the nature of the present Town Board and the three members seeking our continued support. Who they are and what their views are of the Town and us are now clear.

We have had considerable exposure to them, their dogged views of us, and the nature of the Town. Board members clearly regard our concerns about privacy, government intrusiveness into all aspects of life here, and the value of the Town as it is are wrong, outdated, and, resistant to a bright and better future.

Who Lull, Richardson, and Sperry are, and what they value, are embedded in the draft zoning plan they support. One cannot separate these three members from the features of the plan. To put it a little roughly “ the plan is them.” So, to set the plan aside they must be themselves set aside. They will never accept our oft-expressed outrage at so many of the plan’s terms.

The plan is an acknowledged  cobbleup of paragraphs from other smaller, tighter communities in this state and elsewhere. A more awkward cut- and- paste job cannot be easily be found. And it cost around $100,000 !  No wonder so many of us are outraged.

Back to the present board member candidates. It is clear they will continue to treat town citizens as they have, with ill-disguised impatience and no real response at all. Although they may live here and be a part of the community,  as elected officials they behave as though they only serve a small portion of that community. It is clear as day that they intend for Chatham to be another town entirely.

This means that if we want to preserve the rural nature of the Chatham we love, all three must be defeated Tuesday, and the three who are clearly Chatham people must be elected, for the ongoing welfare of us all. 

I hope and believe a large majority of our voters agree.

Vote for Donal Collins for Chatham Town Supervisor. Vote for Vance Pitkin and Abi Mesick for Chatham Town Council.

Bob Linville
Old Chatham, NY

Why is there so much resistance from the Board and their supporters?

I’ve been thinking about Van Calhoun’s level of rancor and it seems to me that some of the zoning recommendation committee members, and others who are on the Board feel they have done all this work, for all these years, have all this experience, and now who the hell are we, the inexperienced upstart ignorant rabble, to question the wisdom of what they have put together.  

Nevermind that the board members themselves acknowledged over 100 errors in the code.

The telling sentence in Van Calhoun’s recent diatribe, personally attacking Jeanne, for me is: “I watched them work through the problems of creating laws that our people needed but didn’t yet understand.”  It’s such a blatantly paternalistic statement that he knows better what We the People need, even if we don’t understand it.  

And then there’s “it certainly works on townspeople who do not search for the second sentence of a quote.”  Again he portrays an attitude that there are those who are fit to govern and then there are the townspeople.  

I think that is the same motivation that led Maria Lull to file the final draft with the County Planning Board before the changes were complete, and without telling the public.  They have humored us, put up with us, suffered us, and now they are just sick of us.  Van Calhoun thinks Donal, Abi and Vance are out of their depth and he “feels sorry” for them. Patronizing and downright bizarre.

I keep coming back to the code the Board was proud to pass on June 20th, until they acknowledged 100 plus anomalies in July.  The difference was the willingness of a number of ’ordinary’ citizens to read the proposed zoning – just read the thing and speak up about all the mistakes.  

No matter what the Election outcome, our town should be proud of what we have taken on.  This Board is out of line, and it’s time for We the People to put better representation in those seats.

They can’t keep resisting us if they aren’t running our town.

The only way to do that is to vote. There has never been a more important election in Chatham’s history.

Concerned Citizen
Old Chatham
November 1st

Chatham Residents Are For Reasonable Zoning, Not Restrictive Zoning

The Town Board didn’t listen to the residents — again. The Board continues to push ahead with a proposed zoning law that will severely restrict residents’ property rights, hurt local businesses and trades and discourage people from improving their land and the quality of their lives in our Town.

On September 30, 2019, the Town Board released and submitted for County review their latest version of the proposed zoning law. It contains just as many burdensome restrictions as the last version of the proposed law, which hundreds of residents rejected at a public meeting. Its contents make it clear that the Town Board is out of touch with the residents. 

Below are some examples of the onerous  zoning restrictions in the revised law which the Town Board plans to adopt after the election.

* The proposed zoning law now contains over 230 pages of incredibly detailed and weighty regulations which are single spaced with small print — nearly three times more lengthy than the law submitted by the original Zoning Implementation Committee (ZIC) to the Town Board at the end of 2015. These voluminous regulations are more appropriate for Westchester County or Long Island, not a rural town like Chatham. Why do we need so many regulations in our Town?

* The proposed zoning law mandates that 85% of residents’ land in the rural districts must be kept as open space.  (Section 180-32(C)(2)). Residents are not allowed to develop their property in any way if the open space drops below 85%.  So, if you live on a smaller lot with a driveway, house and a pool and you don’t have 85% open space now on your land, you can’t add a garden shed or gazebo. This constitutes a brazen taking of land by the Town Board. Why would the Town Board want such an onerous restriction in our rural Town?

* The proposed zoning law mandates that only 6% of residents’ land in the rural district can be covered by impervious surfaces (i.e., buildings, driveways, patios, etc.).  So, if you have a small lot with improvements now, you may exceed the 6% and may not be able to build anything else on your land.  Residents improving their land increases local taxes and make peoples’ lives better. Why does the Town Board want to severely restrict residents in this way? 

* The proposed zoning law makes it difficult for residents to put small accessory structures on their land (e.g., garden sheds, pools, gazebos, patios, etc.). For example, in the hamlet districts which have a broad range of parcel size and configurations, accessory structures are not allowed in the front yard between the street and the house. (Section 180-36(D)(7)). So,        residents with larger lots and long driveways can’t use the front of their land. Then, curiously, the section immediately following (Section 180-36(D)(8)) directly contradicts that rule.

* The proposed zoning law prohibits accessory structures located closer than thirty-five feet from your home. (Section 180-36(D)(6)). This prevents, for example, people from putting a woodshed close to their house so they don’t have to walk in the snow and rain to get wood for their fireplaces. Throughout the Town there are countless accessory structures close to homes. Why are they a problem now?

* The proposed zoning law prohibits residents from expanding their homes to add an accessory apartment for their elderly parents or family members.  (Section 180-36(C)(2)). Interestingly, the law allows home expansions for other uses, but not for in-law apartments. Why does the Town Board want to discourage this form of affordable housing for our families?

* The proposed zoning law requires residents to go through a site plan approval process with the Planning Board to build an accessory structure over 700 square feet, such as a pool with a deck or a 3-car garage, in the rural districts.  (Table 2, Section 180-36(E).  This expensive process will take months to complete.  Comically, the law allows homes to be built as large as 15,000 sf (Section 180-32(C)(2)) without site plan approval (Section 180-29(B)(1)) but requires it for a small garage. 

These pointless and onerous restrictions on residential land will increase the number of people seeking variances from the ZBA (through a lengthy and expensive review process) because they simply want to improve their land. It doesn’t make any sense. Other proposed zoning regulations don’t make any sense, either:

* The proposed zoning law imposes oppressive noise regulations which curtail people’s enjoyment of their land.  Section 180-58(DD) states for swimming pools that “human voices shall not be objectionable to the occupants of any neighboring property.”  So, kids having fun in a pool and making noise in the summer would be in violation of the zoning if a disgruntled neighbor found it objectionable. This zoning restriction is illegal because it gives your neighbor control over your land. Is this what we want for our Town — zoning that pits neighbor against neighbor? 

* The proposed zoning law prohibits commercial lawn mowers from mowing residents’ lawns before noon on Sundays.  (Section 180-49(B)(8)).  However, residents are allowed to mow their own lawns before noon; they just can’t use a commercial landscaper. Why does the Town Board care when landscapers mow peoples’ lawns? 

* The proposed zoning law prohibits contractors from doing any work before noon on Sundays.  (Section 180-49(C)(3)). This hurts the tradesmen in our town who need to work in the summer and on weekends to feed their families. Tradesmen have stated that they will increase job costs to homeowners if they can’t work on weekends to complete a job. Why does the Town Board choose to punish local tradesmen who are a vital part of our community?  

* The proposed zoning law wants to stop contractor noise on Sunday mornings, but, comically, it allows personal firing ranges to create noise on Sunday mornings without any limitations (Section 180-49(B)(16)).

* The proposed zoning law permits Zero Lot Lines and adds “Townhouses” (defined as three or more attached units) as permitted uses (with Special Use Permit) in Hamlet and RL-3 Zones. Not only will this intensify the population in those areas, it ignores a 2017 source water survey which concludes that hamlet water supplies are already strained. Dense townhouse developments will further strain the quantity and diminish the quality of the water supply in those areas. The hamlet and rural zones represent our history and our rural character. Why would we alter the character and landscape of our historic countryside by allowing this type of development?

* The proposed zoning law severely restricts residents’ rights to rent their homes for short stays on Airbnb and similar websites to earn extra income to pay for taxes, school tuition, home repairs, and making ends meet. The proposed law now contains twelve pages of burdensome regulations targeted at stopping short-term home rentals. Meanwhile NYS is looking at ways to welcome short-term rentals, and has determined putting sales tax on them will bring in over $100 million in revenue for the state, of which Chatham would get its cut. Why are they restricting something that our NYS Governor wants to support?

* The Town Board claims limiting short term rentals (there are less than twenty in Chatham) will somehow increase the inventory of affordable year-round rental units. Yet under the revised law, citizens who rent out their homes in the traditional way will be liable for fines and possible jail time for loud noises created by their tenants, even though the homeowner had nothing to do with making the noise. (Section 180-49(E)).  Why would we discourage landlords from renting the young families who would otherwise remain or choose to live in Chatham, and who keep Chatham diverse and vital?

* * *

The Town Board spent almost four years creating this onerous zoning law and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lawyers and consultants to help prepare the law. To be clear: the Town Board used our money to develop and promote a restrictive law that takes away our property rights.  

It’s vitally important that residents send a message to the Town Board that we don’t want their overbearing zoning law. We must stand together to protect our Town, our property rights and our rural way of life. We need to vote on November 5 for new leadership that will listen to residents and adopt zoning that is reasonable, not unduly restrictive.

Help Wanted: Town board members who represent the people they serve…

By Lisa Light

I can’t help but wonder why current leadership all over the world and even in small towns, seems to be polarizing its communities. I have never paid much attention to politics. I never had to…until now. To me, it seemed that things rarely change much regardless of who was in office locally or nationally. The changes that did occur, happened gradually and/or rarely affected me in small town America.

My bubble burst, however, when I heard about the drastic zoning laws that the Chatham Town Board was proposing this summer. I was forced to pull my head out of the sand and pay attention to what they were planning for our historically, live-and-let-live little town. It was jarring to discover that the future of our town is completely in the hands of 5 people – FIVE individuals have the power to significantly change the place where I have lived most of my life and where I have raised my family. How can that be? Shouldn’t we have more of a say and be able to vote when the board is proposing 226 pages of new laws?! The system hardly seems democratic or American! I guess it can, and has worked in the past, but the current Chatham Town Board is a far cry from being a fair representation of the Chatham community. In essence, it has become a bit like a dictatorship, because they are a small group that possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations.

A town board should be representative of its constituents. That is the only way a board can successfully govern a community fairly and democratically.

The current Chatham Town Board is 100% white, college educated and financially stable. Three are retired, only one is a woman and none of them were born or raised in Chatham or Columbia County. I do not know their political parties, however, it is truly NOT about what party the candidates belong to in local government, but where they fall on the issues that are important to their community. It is about balancing viewpoints and understanding the people you are serving.

We need to balance the board by voting in 3 new candidates who truly know what it is like to grow up, make a living and raise a family in Chatham today.

Donal Collins was raised on River Road in Chatham. He was closer to my brother’s age and played on his soccer team. I know my brother, always thought highly of him on and off the field. His parents were both teachers and farmers. His Mom, Pat Collins, worked for years at and helped make The Berry Farm what we know today. Donal is among the many Chatham High graduates who go off to see a bit of the world, earn a college degree and then realize that

Chatham is a great place to live. Donal is an interesting candidate because he has a mechanical engineering degree from Tulane University, he is a local farmer, and he works for a small business (Nancy Scans) in Chatham. Donal is a listener and a thinker and when he speaks he says very intelligent, well-thought out, practical ideas and people listen. I believe he will give his heart and soul to our town and he will lead with careful consideration of everyone’s needs and concerns. I am confident that he would make an excellent Town Supervisor.

Abi Mesick grew up in Austerlitz and went to Taconic Hills School. Her Dad, Dr. Barr Davis was a long time Chatham medical practitioner and our family doctor. Her Mom was his nurse, served for years as Austerlitz Town Justice, and together they raised 5 children. Although I went to a different school, I knew who Abi was. She made an impression because she was a quiet, petite, pretty tomboy who wore overalls, drove a pickup truck and could do jobs most girls didn’t attempt to do like climb and cut down trees! One day when I was 16 and a new driver, Abi came to my rescue. The hood of my car flew up and got stuck on my windshield. I was a pathetic, teenage girl that had no idea what to do. She pulled up behind me in her pickup truck, jumped out, grabbed a crowbar out of the back, marched straight to my car, unstuck the hood from my windshield, and then turned and left before I could say thank you. That is Abi. Strong, capable, ready to help and not looking for kudos or anything in return. She too left the area for New York City to study at Columbia University and she too returned to farm, start a business and raise a family in Chatham. She has experience in zoning as she assisted the Town of Austerlitz in passing their first zoning laws. She has demonstrated over the past several months that she will not take shortcuts when it comes to governing and leading our community into the future. She carefully read the proposed zoning and respectfully pointed out areas that needed revision and offered to help when she could. I am confident that Abi Mesick would do an excellent job representing women, children, farmers and business owners on the Chatham Town Board if she is elected.

I first met Vance Pitkin when I was planning the Millennial Celebration, Last Nite First Day, in Chatham in 1999. He was a great support in planning the celebration. He suggested and offered to make a beautiful, metal arch that we could erect in the Village green for revelers to walk through at the stroke of midnight as a symbol of walking from one century to the next. I have since enlisted him to refinish family heirlooms in his antique restoration shop and I have found that he runs his business with precision and integrity. He too is a farmer and lover of animals and the land as well, and would better represent the Chatham working community.

A town board should solicit community input, collaboration and communicate clearly, openly and thoroughly with its constituents especially when they want to make changes to the law. This results in buy-in from the community, ensures that the citizens are aware of the new laws, understand them and will comply. When board members want to change or amend laws, especially risky laws that could be detrimental to the future economy of the community, they need to remember that they are not expert policy and law makers. They were elected to serve their community. They need to thoroughly research, get advice from several experts (not just the ones they pay) and ask their constituents for input. There are several special interest groups in Columbia County who know what their members experience, need and want such as the Columbia County Economic Development Corp, The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, The Columbia County Board of Realtors, Columbia County Tourism Bureau, and the Chatham Agricultural Partnership.

I encourage Chatham citizens to vote for a board that better represents us on Nov. 5.

Your Local Vote Matters Most

Letter to the Editor:

Your vote in the upcoming election on November 5th  is of great importance.  One problem in the United States is that voters tend to focus on voting during presidential election years and pay less heed to local elections.  Elections at the local level are crucial and provide you with a chance to put individuals into office who will determine how your community will function and how your local needs will be met. 

Elected candidates will set and enforce local laws that have a great impact on your well- being.   In addition, local towns create budgets that affect how much money will be spent in maintaining roads, what programs your parks will offer and to whom and at what cost, funding for fire departments, providing police patrols, supporting agricultural concerns, and environmental issues.

In order to serve the needs of the community, the people must be listened to in a respectful and caring manner.  Communication, to be effective, has to be a process of listening, reflecting, and responding but then being willing to hear and respond to feedback.  All manner of business conducted at town meetings needs to be provided to all the constituents by many means.  Not all residents in Columbia County have internet or even access to the internet. 

In this upcoming election I urge you first of all to VOTE, second not to confuse national politics with the local issues that are impacting you first hand, and most importantly to vote for a team who will represent you by listening to your concerns, researching the issues and then acting in the best interest of the town at large and not a select few.  The team who will truly represent you in the Town of Chatham are Donal Collins for Supervisor, Abi Mesick for Town Board and Vance Pitkin for Town Board. Your vote counts!

Julia Veronezi

Town of Chatham

Response to Board’s Continued Lack of Communication by Ted Miner

The following was the statement, in full, by Ted Miner to the Chatham Town Board at the October 10, 2019 Board meeting, after learning of their violation of Open Meeting Law.

Bottom Feeding, Scum Sucking, Reprobates. The first words that came to mind as I digested “the Zoning Proposal forwarded to Columbia County for necessary review“.

Then I spent time reviewing my thoughts, conferring with those I respect, and remembering past associations.

I had sat every minute of the Q&A’s, as slowly many of my and others’ concerns were raised and dealt. I am today left with two “new” questions and one dramatic clarification. I understand others’ are left alike. I did not follow councilman Balcome’s advice “to send them on in”, as I had tried at the Tri-Village meeting and felt shorted. Besides, I do much better face to face where a dialog may take place.

Promised twice publicly, “The Q&A’s will end when the public stops coming/the questions are not new.”, I remained sure all would be addressed before the county submission. Previously scheduled to Oct. 8th, then to the 7th, finally to the 14th, (celebrated news to me at each designation), I was satisfied my concern was respected. Though on later thought, the dates’ movement may suggest other challenges when weighing the “ten days county acceptance window“.

The previous attempt to ratify the proposal included a board agenda identifying intent. Then the town board and planner Nan’s open in depth review and address of the county submission documents. Finally a public declaration of intent to file.

Though I had sat every minute of the town board meetings since June 21st I did not hear or see any intent to do the same. Not a sentence, not a word. Yet, it is done. Filed “received” Sept. 30th by Nan the planner, application signed Oct. 2nd by Maria Lull.

This came to my attention by another’s extreme diligence, I might say, “Luck”. The information is located under the website sidebar’s “Government” tab. Further, to the “Comprehensive Plan” tab. Finally located out of order, at the bottom of dated information. I, of course, had kept one eye on the dedicated “Zoning” information block. Obviously a mistake. This alone raised an eyebrow until I remembered the town board, while attempting communication solutions, had fallen well short of this fairly simple task.


I do not condone, “passage to then fix”. I do not accept, “time investment warrants passage”, nor, “always done this way”. I wonder, “I don’t know, somebody thought this was important”. More than once I heard, “should have been sent back to the Zoning Board, then addressed by a ZIC, finally to come to us, the town board”. I do not give out participation medals. I respect dedication and empathy.

That said, the foundational final insult is the undocumented action of the county submission. I accept no laws have been broken. I accept no collusion occurred. I accept the timing of the action was important to achieve the guaranteed decision process.

I accept the supervisor made the sole decision. signed her name, and had it filed by Nan the planner.

A concerted, deceitful action, meant to circumvent any opposition. Think June 20th.

I do not accept the insult of indifference to me or others. The “need to know” surely was then communicated to the board, yet there was no, (obviously warranted), zoning update at the Oct. 3rd board meeting. I and maybe all, of our town‘s unwashed, unimportant, certainly unaccountable, were not in the rarified circle. The disrespect to our highest concern, “Communication”, is unparalleled in my 37 year history of various boards’ participation and attendance. In my 45 year professional career, I have fired for far less. Even before I was held to a higher accountability.

“Openness” has become laughable.

Machiavelli suggested “The ruler governs only with the permission of the governed”.

Maria Lull, you do not have my permission.

The balance of the board…. Please remember you are my neighbors.

Ted Miner

At the end of his statement, Ted stood up, took off his “Truth Matters” button, handed it back to Maria Lull, and stated that he still stands by his words from weeks earlier that this group is not racist, but instead they are indeed elitist.

The Board Took Action Toward Passing Zoning… Violating Open Meeting Law. Watch the Video from the Zoning Q&A. Shocking!

For those who haven’t heard, the Town Board has sent the latest version, labeled FINAL DRAFT, to the County Planning Board for review. What does that mean? That means they took the next step to PASS THESE RESTRICTIVE ZONING LAWS… without telling us.

On September 30th, documents were filed with the County and signed by Maria Lull. Her signature was dated October 2nd. That’s a whole other bizarre act. Why post-date a document?

Not to mention, September 30th is also the date posted on the new proposed zoning law that they were supposed to get our feedback on BEFORE submitting to the county.

We think someone’s pants are on fire.

Not only did they post-date it, they buried it on the site. It was NOT posted in the “PROPOSED NEW ZONING” section. To find it, you had to go to the left sidebar, click “Government,” then “Comprehensive Plan” (again, NOT under “Proposed New Zoning” in that dropdown either), and then scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN to the bottom to find it. (Zoning CCPB 239 Referral Form 9.26.19 signed… yet, again, the date Maria put on her signature was 10/2.)

Yep. They never told us. Not one word. The last 2 times they sent the zoning to the county, they DID tell us. They discussed it in the board meetings, as they are required to. do. It is a violation of Open Meeting law for them to do otherwise. Yet, they DID violate the law and didn’t think anything of it. In fact, Michael Richardson (who is on the board yet never got a single vote from any of us bc he was appointed by Maria Lull), said this about our fury at their deception, “I just don’t get it.”

I’m sorry, but why would we want someone representing us who doesn’t get us?

Yet the incumbents keep touting success with the budget process, blaming the past administration for some sort of financial ruin. Um, is it just us or do they not realize Town Supervisor Maria Lull and Deputy Supervisor Bob Balcom WERE part of that last administration they spend so much time blaming!

But back to what the County review of our zoning laws really means.

What Does the County Actually Do in the Review?

The Board has led us to believe that this is a “necessary step” to ensure our laws are good laws. Well, not so fast. The county already APPROVED these horrible laws… TWICE. Yet because of the Q&As with the public, the Board identified 90 issues that needed to be fixed. 90! And again, let us remind you, the County already APPROVED these horrible laws… TWICE.

So, yeah, forgive us, but we really don’t buy this “approval” process. The County approving them does not mean these laws are great!

In fact, the County does NOT care if the law demands we bring our garbage cans in within 48 hours. The County does NOT care if the law requires us to put a front porch on any new building in a hamlet. The County does NOT care what time or day we mow our lawns. Those are only 3 examples of many.

ALL the county cares about is that our zoning does not negatively impact any other towns in the County.

The County does NOT care if one town’s laws are over-restrictive and another’s are not. ALL they care about is if one town’s laws negatively impact another’s.

Oh, and Bob Balcom even commented at the last Board meeting, on October 10th, that they don’t even have to take ANY of the County’s recommendations. Not one.

We can tell you, without reservation, the County WILL rubber-stamp approve this. The Board WILL push this to Public Hearing in late November – Richardson all but admitted that tonight at the Q&A. And the Board WILL pass this pile of overly-restrictive zoning to the next step.

And guess what? They can pass it into law even if they lose the election because the election winners don’t take office until January 1st.

The ONLY way to stop these laws from being voted on by this Board, is to keep telling them what you think is wrong with them! Email your questions to them. Demand more Q&As.

It’s a beast, but please try to check the sections of this law that will negatively impact your life and ask questions! Demand answers! Believe us, there are MANY flaws within these 233 pages! Oh, yes, it is now up to 233 pages of restrictive fun!


Yes, we heard you groan when you clicked that link. Sorry, but they keep making this thing BIGGER! To our horror.

If only the citizens could charge the Board for the hours they have put into fighting this law. But believe us, the Board HAS paid Nan the Planner and John Lyons, the land-use attorney for THEIR time. Tens of thousands of dollars!

The Sham Q&A is a MUST WATCH!

Want to see the video of the Q&A from October 14th? Oh, yes, they had a zoning Q&A on Columbus Day. They don’t care that it’s a holiday and people might be out of town.

This video says it all. It truly is a must-watch event. Richardson acts like he is the King of Chatham, dismissing his subjects and laughing at them.

We know it looks grim, but we can overcome this!

Please do NOT give up! Keep fighting this horrible zoning law! The ultimate voice you have is your right to vote. Of all the elections Chatham has ever had, this one is the most important.

Chatham needs you. VOTE for Donal, Vance and Abi, and send a clear message that this Town Supervisor Maria Lull and Michael Richardson need to be removed from office!

Donal, Vance and Abi are knocking on doors and trying to get to everyone’s house, yet at the same time, they are working hard to read the 233 pages of proposed laws and going to every Town Board meeting to stop this law from passing! So, please know they are already trying to save Chatham from zoning fitting of Westchester County.