Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
McCoy’s comments

Letters to the Editor
Journal Inquirer
June 16, 2011

Per “Tickets on the go” (May 26 story), the Ticket-Network application “was denied March 11, 2010, on the grounds that it would create hazardous public health and safety conditions, would not be compatible with neighboring uses, and would create a nuisance.”

This Planning and Zoning Commission decision used Vernon zoning regulations and ordinances so “subjective” or “interested party” opinions would not influence outcomes.

Vernon Citizens for Responsible Development brought many facts to light through the dedicated research, time, and financial contributions of its many members, hiring lawyers and noise experts to bring factual information to the proceedings.

Mayor Jason McCoy, an attorney who knows the power of deliberately chosen words, made two appalling comments to the Journal Inquirer.

The first was that Jennifer Roggi “was absolutely obnoxious during that whole thing. Sometimes people don’t always appreciate what the residual effect is and I tried to explain it to people.”

I’m not sure what double-talk “residual effect” is implying, but again: PZC decisions are based on zoning laws; financials are not zoning criteria. As a member of the Vernon Citizens for Responsible Development, as is Roggi, not once was Roggi obnoxious or rude. Her dedication to research and clarity of her statements, politeness, and valor in speaking at public hearings attended by hundreds of people were outstanding. I attended every single hour of the hearings — which are on tape and available for any citizen’s review — and not once was Roggi rude. I did not see McCoy at any of these hearings.

Secondly, as the JI reported: ‘“I wish Don (Vaccaro, TicketNetwork CEO) had come to me earlier and spoke with me,’ McCoy said, blaming a breakdown in communication with town staff, specifically the building and planning departments and the fire marshal. ‘Our people that work here in these departments don’t communicate well and they don’t explain themselves. They just give people a hard time. … The only positive thing is at least we’re not losing jobs in Tolland County.’”

I was a Conservation Commission member for 10 years, worked closely with the building and planning departments, and have managed multimillion-dollar projects. I have never seen a leader so publicly attempt to raise his personal status and insulate himself from criticism by insulting his own employees’ contributions and careers — entire departments, in fact.

Town employees, thank you for doing your jobs, for following town ordinances and zoning laws, and protecting us. Thank you for having the moral character to not succumb to constant and belittling political pressure.

And by the way, Mayor McCoy: South Windsor is not in Tolland County.

Sheryl E. McMullen