From the Town Tribune, Oct 26, 2017. To the Editor: One would never expect a First Selectman to willfully violate a local zoning regulation because, after all, what kind of example would that set for the rest of us? But this is precisely what Clay Cope has done.
Before ordering a rather large sign for the new Wash Station, he was advised to first check with Zoning to be sure it conformed to code. He did not, and it did not. He spent taxpayer money to purchase it anyway, intentionally choosing to not pay attention to an important regulation that everyone else is subject to. When the non-conforming sign was put up, the Land Use Enforcement Officer had no choice but to cite it as being in violation of a zoning regulation.
The consequence to the enforcement officer for not looking the other way, but instead doing his job in a professional and non-partisan manner, was to receive notice that his hours were being cut.
Does any of this illustrate good leadership, the kind you would want for another two years? You do not need my twenty-five years of Sherman land use board experience to know that the town itself is never exempt from following its own rules.
As a former member of Planning and Zoning, shouldn’t Mr. Cope be especially knowledgeable, mindful and respectful of all of our zoning regulations, particularly as First Selectman? It’s shocking that he evidently believes that regulations which apply to the rest of the town do not necessarily apply to him.
The sign is still there. The sign is still in violation. It’s a very bad sign.
Joe Chiaramonte, Sherman