Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Wetlands panel loses expertise

Journal Inquirer
January 17, 2006

I am extremely disappointed that the Republican majority has refused to reappoint Jane Seymour to the Inland Wetlands Commission.

The very purpose of the Inland Wetlands Commission is to protect those natural resources with in our community. As an environmentally responsible community, wouldn't we want to seek out the best qualified people to do that job?

We have come a long way these past 30 years in understanding how man has impacted our landscapes. Countless research studies, even development of new sciences, have been part of this understanding. Evaluating land use impacts responsibly is all about understanding the science.

Jane Seymour has exactly the right expertise and professional background we would want on the wet lands commission. She has had an advanced degree in wildlife conservation and expertise in the complicated sciences involved in evaluating non-point source pol lution impacts on biodiversity and water quality. I also know her personally, and know her to be fair and objective in her land use assessments.

The "conflict of interest" rationale that was given by the Republican majority for not making the reappointment does not make sense, and smacks of political bias. I believe that the decision was based on misin formation and misunderstanding of simple facts. I would urge the majority to re-examine the facts behind that decision, rescind their vote, and reappoint Jane to the Vernon Inland Wetlands Commission. The people of Vernon deserve no less.

Ann Letendre

The writer is former member and chairwoman of the Vernon Inland Wetlands Commission (18 years, 1974 to 1992), and chairwoman of the Hockanum River Linear Park Committee and co-chairwoman of the Vernon Open Space Task Force.