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Conservation Commissioner Thomas Robinson

Adams Commissioners Feel Left Out of Glen Discussions

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Conservation Commissioner James Fassell, right, accused Chairman Jason Krzanowski of keeping members out of the loop on the Greylock Glen trail project.

ADAMS, Mass. — The Conservation Commission is making sure all its communications related the Greylock Glen are meticulously documented.

Commissioner Thomas Robinson asked his colleagues to approve a motion that would force them to record and file all written and verbal communications between commission members and state agencies, applicants, concerned citizens and special interest organizations.

"We as a board need to clean up some of our act," Robinson said. "I feel as though some of the things that are being done are not being done properly in so far as the board is concerned."

The commission agreed.

Robinson's motion stated that all verbal communications must be documented in writing with identification of time and place and the person spoken with. The record must also include a written description of the subject in discussion. The record must be on file prior to issuing any determination or an order by the commission.

Robinson said the committee originally planned on using this procedure at the beginning of the Glen project; however, some committee members feel out of the loop at this point in the project.

The commission has been reviewing the extensive trail system being proposed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation as part of the town's development of the 1,000-acre site.

Commissioner James Fassell accused Chairman Jason Krzanowski of keeping the committee ill-informed about the project because of instances in which information was not provided to all of the committee members. Some board members were not privy to an itinerary for an upcoming Glen inspection that Krzanowski created, for example.

"We are not there," Fassell said. "You are working in a blank autocratic matter and now we are trying to catch up and see what you are doing."

Krzanowski answered by saying the itinerary was based off the requests of William Lattrell, a certified wetlands scientist and restoration ecologist. Lattrell had been hired by the commission to review the state's plans.

The chairman said he was only looking to help and expedite the process.

"My impression was to take some of the minutiae out of an otherwise gargantuan project and not bother until things were set," Krzanowski said. "Obviously an error, and if you guys want to be in the loop with everything that's how it will be."

Robinson explained that the documentation is also important because it provides a paper trail.

"I want to know when this [Glen project] is appealed … this board is free and clear," Robinson said. "We are going to get caught in a problem that is not of our making, and this is not new to us and we have been down that road."

Without proper documentation, Robinson believes the project may slow down even more.  

"Glen projects are repealed, and you never finish a Glen project," Robinson said of the many attempts to develop the property on the Mount Greylock State Reservation. "What you do is bleed dry any of the allocations to do a project until you reach a point where the applicant can no longer afford to finish the project and that is not what this town is about."

Fassell and Commissioner Corey Bishop agreed and felt a more complete record would help the commission accelerate the process, keep it neutral and see where problems arise.

"I do know that a lot of time and money has been spent up there and all we have now is an afternoon dog park," Bishop said.

Fassell also said he felt as though Krzanowski should not be allowed to contribute to the inspections of the Glen and only Lattrell should make recommendations.

"I don't think [Krzanowski] has the ability to be objective," Fassell said." Jason, I think you tell [Lattrell] what to do, and I really feel that you control the documentation and the direction."

Bishop said that although he would like more transparency, he likes that Krzanowski is heavily involved in the process because of his passion for the Glen and his extensive knowledge.

"You understand a heck of a lot more than we do," he told the chairman. "And I do appreciate the value of you being there and being able to relay back to us what you found so we can come to a meeting and work on it."

Krzanowski agreed he would just observe and report and let Lattrell lead the inspection.

Tags: conservation commission,   DCR,   Greylock Glen,   trails,   

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