Editor, The Sun:
Blame me! I am the Brant Town Board member that introduced a a resolution in September, stating that we will not alter any land use laws while undertaking a comprehensive planning process.
The Town of Brant master plan was adopted in. 1971. A lot has changed since then. The document never imagined such things as Indian land Claims, the possibility of casino gaming, cell towers and landfills the size of FRESH KILLS in New York. I admit I do not have the wisdom, knowledge or professional research at my disposal to make a decision at this time on behalf of all town residents.
The Brant Town Board has not made a decision to "toss the project into the cylinder file" as The Sun suggests. By agreeing to study the proposal now would be "putting the cart before the horse." Rather than charge head first into uncharted waters I suggest we plan our future instead of reacting to events.
Those who follow Brant government know I have been at the center of the ongoing Brant-Evans and North Collins Farmland Protection Project. I successfully lobbied county lawmakers for the opportunity to show how small towns can approach planning through "regionalism."
Three small towns working together can set an example of forward thinking for agriculture. This plan has the potential to easily out live the regional importance of a "shared beach sweeper."
At the outset the towns hired the best consultant available - American Farmland Trust, to guide the project. We have been aggressively mapping agriculture in a three town region to create common goals and gain insight. The project will be completed in the summer of 2001.
Landfills are illegal in the Town of Brant. Before any land use law is altered we should take the time to plan, hire the best available consultants and together with all the people in the Town of Brant, chart our future course. Just because we are a town of 2,000 people we should not react without the benefit of time to fully gather all the intangibles of a project this size. Funding to complete a comprehensive land use plan for the Town of Brant and the Village of Farnham is already in place.
I will not be pushed, goaded or lobbied into changing these laws without the guidepost of a completed updated master plan. My words and opinion are up for referendum in November. For those who agree with The Sun that the board was wrong for calling time out for comprehensive planning, blame me, I am the "long view" farmer on the Brant Town Board that respects the right of people to decide the direction for future generations.