“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.”
This quote is often attributed to Otto von Bismarck. My suspicion is that he must have passed through Ayer Town Hall at some point to have come up with such a concise phrase that is filled with such disgusting imagery. Having served in town politics and having butchered my own hogs and having made my own sausage, I find both rather repugnant, but both necessary. And I do prefer the latter however, it is cleaner and doesn’t stink as much.
Many Friends of Flannagan Pond have gotten their first taste of politics (not sausage) during our various committee meetings at Town Hall, or even Annual Town Meeting. Well there is another meeting coming up that you must put on your calendar and plan attending; The Fall Town Meeting, October 24th at 7:00 PM.
At that meeting, there will likely be discussion of funding Article 38 that was passed at the Annual Town Meeting. But believe it or not, that is not the subject of this post. The subject of this post is a proposed rewrite to the Ayer Zoning Bylaws, which by their own admission, some Planning Board members have not even read, or if they have read them, do not understand.
A matrix outlining the changes, and comparing the current laws to the proposed laws is 146 pages in length. Watch this filmclip. Listen for phrases such as, “…even if we read it…”, “…I skimmed it…”, “…I didn’t try to digest the whole thing…”.
Jeremy Callahan has uploaded some Planning Board Meeting excerpts to YouTube. After you have viewed this filmclip ask yourself if you have any confidence that a wholesale change of the zoning bylaws is warranted without a clear understanding of what is being proposed, why it is being proposed, by whom is it proposed and what the potential impact will be on every property owner and tax payer in Ayer.
There is a Public Hearing on this subject, scheduled for Thursday, October 6th at 7:00 P.M.