Letter To The Editor: Planning Board’s Meeting Date Is Quite Shocking

Photo: Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Tuesday.

Dear Planning Board,

As you probably know by now, the League of Women Voters of Belmont has been studying Marijuana in Belmont since September 2017. We, as a committee, try to stay involved and aware in all aspects of planning for Marijuana in Belmont. We happened to have a meeting last Tuesday. One person heard a rumor that there was a September Planning Board meeting soon, but no one knew the date. We went online, to the Planning Board website, and couldn’t find a date or agenda. One member of our committee watched the video of your last meeting to get more information but only got the date, no specifics.

So we were all quite surprised, when we got the paper on Thursday, that the big final marijuana meeting for the Planning Board is Tuesday! And, it happens to fall on one of the two most religious days of the year for Jews, Yom Kippur, so there
is no way for me to attend. Others in our committee have multiple engagements this week, so it seems unlikely that anyone from the League of Women Voters will be able to attend in person.

Since reading [media reports], and finally finding the agenda online, it seems that this is a Public Hearing on the Adult Use Marijuana Overlay District and might be the final time the public gets to comment before the November Special Town Meeting. If true, that seems quite shocking. How can you release information so close to the date of the meeting, held the public hearing on it on such an important religious holiday?

While I am writing, you might want to be aware that the League is holding a Marijuana Info Session on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Chenery. We hope that someone from your committee might be able to join us, but most of the focus will be on the upcoming Special Election Ballot Question.

Bonnie Friedman (Town Meeting Member, Precinct 3) 

Belmont LWV Marijuana Study Committee

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  1. Karyn Miller-Medzon says

    I haven’t been involved in the marijuana issue, nor am I a member of the League of Women Voters. However, I’m appalled that any major (or minor) town meeting would be held on Yom Kippur. I’m sure there would be an uproar if the same meeting was slated for Christmas morning. I’m hoping that this was a simple error and that it will be rescheduled.

  2. Charles Clark, Chair-Planning Board says

    This is actually not the case. There will be other public hearing, especially after the the vote takes place- we can’t finalize anything until that takes place.

  3. Ian Watson says

    As with our public school holidays, it is impossible to accommodate every group in our community – however sad that may be. We already have many constraints on our ability to function as a town and as a democracy.

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