Statement from Oak Hill study committee chairman - 1/14/13
Statement from Oak Hill Study CommitteeIssued by Susan Carter, Committee ChairJanuary 14, 2013The allegation made on Friday by Mr. Roland Van Liew stating that one of the Oak Hill Study Committeemembers was involved in private negotiations with a selectman and a logging company related tovaluable hard wood at Oak Hill caught me and the Committee by surprise. In addition, Mr. Stanway was100% correct to refer Mr. Van Liew to me as Committee Chair for comment on any issue related to thiscommittee including allegations of possible wrongdoing by any Committee member.However, the information released does not name the selectman or the logging company, and has nofactual evidence to support any of Mr. Van Liew’s claims. I have contacted the Town Manager and hestated to me that he is unaware of any discussions regarding logging on Oak Hill. Thus, we can onlyregard this as an unsubstantiated allegation. I ask Mr. Van Liew to reveal any and all information he hason this topic and to present it to us for consideration.With that in mind, on behalf of the Oak Hill Study Committee, I want to say that I have full confidence in allour Committee Members including Phil Stanway who has stated publicly that he is not involved in anysuch discussions. I would also like to state, for the record, that logging is not included among therecommendation by this Committee to the Board of Selectman, and Mr. Stanway was very clear as arepresentative of this Committee that the 66-acre parcel at Oak Hill should remain forested.Among many topics reviewed by this Committee, logging was discussed along with information about thebenefits of forest management. Our unanimous recommendations will be presented to the Board ofSelectmen at their next meeting.On a personal note, Mr. Van Liew also made some allegations regarding his appearance before thiscommittee. Part of the role of a chairman is being the meeting facilitator keeping discussions on point.Sometimes this necessitates interrupting a speaker to request that the speaker re-direct their commentsto the discussion at hand.Such was the case when I interrupted Mr. Van Liew at our public input session. Our discussion was notabout 9 North Road or village greens in England or about multifamily housing. Our presentation at thestart of the session clearly stated that we were not recommending housing and that the role of thiscommittee was purely advisory to the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Van Liew’s prepared statements focusingon these topics were irrelevant to the committee as they were either not specific to Oak Hill and we hadalready specifically excluded housing as a recommended use for the property.