I respectfully disagree with reporter Jeff Green's editorial assertion that "the role of local township officials is to work with developers in order to make sure that any proposal that makes it to the stage where it will face public scrutiny it is in a state where a path forward for approving it is there."
This is not a transparent or ethical role for any public official. While public officials should cooperate with all parties, including developers and affected taxpayers, at all--and particularly early--stages of planning, the encouragement--or worse--requirement for, government officials in comfy planning collusions with developers to ensure a plan toward plan approval even before the plan is made public should sound alarm bells in every home, court, legislature or other body where open, transparent and ethical government is valued.
If a proposal such as the Ardoch Lake Condominium project can make it to its current stage, with approval being considered for cramming more than thirty cottages on the south shore of a small and shallow pristine lake, imagine the fiasco that might unfold if public officials had worked with developers to identify and perhaps even grease a path forward for approval even BEFORE affected homeowners and other taxpayers had any knowledge or notice of what was about to be unleashed!
As it is, it is a sad commentary that concerned taxpayers have had to pony up their own private funding for studies to address issues that should properly be the fiscal, planning and evaluation responsibility of an effective and objective government.
Is it any surprise that consultants and researchers hired and paid by developers would reach conclusions favoring their proposed developments? This research and analysis should be the function of honest government, with early, timely and open notice to all those affected so that facts and impacts can be debated and decided in a free, open, and democratic forum..
One fact I'm still awaiting on the Ardoch Lake Condo project is whether the air and other environmental impact of wood stove and other traditional heating by thirty new cottages concentrated on a small shoreline has been determined.
There must be a report out there, somewhere...