Video: Ordinance Committee Meeting of 9/14/09; Heavy Public Uses, Landfill Ballot Questions

Here is a complete video of the 9/14/09 meeting of Northampton’s Ordinance Committee, a committee of the City Council. This video was recorded by Lachlan Ziegler and is 3 hours 42 minutes long.


Video highlights:

0:37:37-0:41:39… Mimi Odgers of Water Not Waste speaks, expresses concern that appealing legislative decisions is difficult (as compared to appealing Special Permits)

0:41:40- 0:49:04… Dr. Jo-Anne Bessette, who also lives near the landfill, speaks on a range of concerns about landfill expansion and the process surrounding it. She believes that gagging city councilors before a special permit is applied for is an unreasonable infringement on free speech.

0:49:23-0:52:00… Ward 6 City Councilor Marianne LaBarge speaks against the proposed heavy use ordinances. “It looks too political.” She prefers to leave decision-making authority on special permits for heavy public uses with the City Council.

Here is the official agenda of the meeting:


See also:

Gazette: “Landfill question on ballot – take 2” (9/18/09)
The City Council Thursday approved placing a second nonbinding question about the city’s landfill expansion before voters in November – but many councilors did so with the knowledge that they could modify or kill the idea at a special meeting next week.

The question, approved by a 5-3 vote on first reading, states: “The Board of Public Works received a waiver from the Department of Environmental Protection to expand the landfill on Glendale Road, which will reach capacity around 2011 and close. Should the Northampton landfill be expanded?”

…The council came up with the wording after most members felt an original proposal – written by Spector, Ward 3 City Councilor Robert C. Reckman and At-Large City Councilor James M. Dostal, and amended by three city committees over the last several weeks – was too long and complicated for a ballot. That question asked voters if they favor expanding the Glendale Road Landfill and included bulleted arguments in favor of and against expansion…

At-Large City Councilor Michael Bardsley, Ward 6 City Councilor Marianne LaBarge, and Ward 4 City Councilor David J. Narkewicz voted against placing the council-sponsored question on the ballot…

Ordinance Committee Recommendations on Competing Heavy Public Use Ordinances

Northampton Redoubt: “Landfill question letter submitted to Gazette by Andrew Woodland”

Water Not Waste Achieves Ballot Question Signature Goal
It is official that we collected the required number of registered voter’s signatures and our question WILL be on the November 3rd ballot!

The question reads:

     “Shall the City of Northampton expand the Northampton landfill over the Barnes Aquifer?”  

“An uphill slog: Fighting the landfill expansion is not going to be easy” – Mike Kirby

Video: Planning Board Meeting of 9/10/09; Heavy Public Use Ordinance Options

Gazette: “Planners ask council to keep permit authority” (9/11/09)
The Planning Board Thursday decided against recommending a proposed ordinance change that would move special permit granting authority for the city’s landfill expansion under its wing.

Videos: Planning Board Meeting of 8/13/09; Special Permits for Heavy Public Uses
0:29:40… Kenneth Jodrie: “I just feel very strongly that this is a decision that has to do with the economics of how the city is run…in fact we say to lots of applicants, ‘Don’t tell us about the economics of it because we don’t deal with that. That’s not our thing.’ That is a big part of the decision on that landfill–the money. And that’s a city councilor decision. That’s all about the finances of the city… If you close that landfill, there’s a huge impact on the city’s budget. It’s a political decision. That’s not a site plan approval issue, and I don’t think it’s…a special permit, at least in the way that we typically deal with special permits.”

0:30:36… Stephen Gilson: “The ramifications…of the landfill are far beyond what we are typically involved in… I think there’s so many issues that are outside what our general background and our decision-making typically covers that I still think it’s a political issue.”

Video: Committee on Economic Development, Housing and Land Use, 8/10/09 Meeting
0:56:40-1:50:58 …Should the City Council retain special permit decision-making authority over landfill expansion (the landfill is a “heavy public use”) or transfer that authority to the Planning Board?… Discussion of ballot questions regarding landfill expansion…