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Poll results: Do your ZBA alternates sit at the table when not voting?

Voters
21. You may not vote on this poll
  • No

    13 61.90%
  • Yes

    8 38.10%
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Thread: Do your ZBA alternates sit at the table?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Do your ZBA alternates sit at the table?

    I have heard many different sides of the question, should ZBA alternates sit at the table if they are not acting in a full capacity for a member who is not in attendance. On one hand, I have heard that they should so they can be part of the discussion in the event that the particular case goes more than one meeting. On the other hand, I have heard that they should not sit at the table because they are not voting members for that meeting, and that the discussion should be limited to voting members, therefore they are just citizens of the community.

    I lean to the side of no an alternate member is not a voting member until they are filling in for a member, but per state regulation, shall be acting on a voting member for the entire duration of that case if it runs over multiple meetings. I feel that only voting members should be permitted at the table and be part of discussion.

    What are your thoughts?
    The most foolish thing one can do this fall is to vote for Clinton or Trump. Wake up, get out of the matrix, and send a message to the political establishment that you won't play their game.

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Yes, they should sit at the table. And they could even chime in with any comments and questions they might have during the proceedings, even if they aren't necessarily voting on a particular item.

  3. #3
    They should be at the table until public comment is concluded. When the Board begins deliberation (and they are not voting) they should be excused, just as alternate jurors are.
    Not for better. Not for worse. And certainly not for lunch.

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    They should be at the table until public comment is concluded. When the Board begins deliberation (and they are not voting) they should be excused, just as alternate jurors are.
    That's how it works here. The participate in all aspects of the case until deliberations, at which point they are no longer permitted to participate.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    they sit and participate and even deliberate but then do not vote...

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    We don't have alternates on our current ZBA. In previous fair city, we had alternates, but no room on the dias, so they sat in the first row of the audience.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Veloise's avatar
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    I'm an alternate, and so far I've been needed to vote at every meeting I've attended. If the regulars are all present, I sit in the front row off to the side. When I take my seat, we do the nametag shuffle.

    Glad someone mentioned participating in discussion. I had a pithy question of one applicant. but wasn't "seated" so I didn't ask it.

    HTH

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    What are these "alternates" of which you speak?

    We're lucky to get enough folks to volunteer for the planning commission (5 appointees by our board).

    IMO, alternatives should only attend public hearings if they are needed to sit on the BZA and should only attend, when not sitting as alternatives, when they are directly affected by the development (and they should identify themselves as alternatives to the...whatever board this is...)
    Annoyingly insensitive

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Why?

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Yes, they should sit at the table. And they could even chime in with any comments and questions they might have during the proceedings, even if they aren't necessarily voting on a particular item.
    Then you end up with a non-voting member(s) having undue influence on the voting members. If they choose to attend and speak as a member of the public, fine, but they shouldn't be allowed to speak as though they are voting members. That doesn't sound fair to me. This assumes you have all of the regular members in attendance.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    For us, the only difference between an alternate and a regular is the alternate doesn't vote unless appointed to fill a vacancy. Alternate participates in the discussion right up to the vote. It's ok that the alternate might influence the vote.

    We have enough trouble keeping our boards and commissions filled and some individuals get a little slighted if they are "only" an alternate. So we allow our alternates to speak as much as they want. It does seem to keep them interested and they show up at hearings. Besides, they almost always wind up getting appointed as a voter anyway.

  11. #11
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Our position is that the best way for alternates to learn is to participate. Our alternates for both the ZBA and the Planning Board participate in all matters except for the vote.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  12. #12
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I have never used alternates. I do not think I could find an extra two members to volunteer. In some communities there may be a need. If I had them, I would try to find a way to rotate all the members. Otherwise, the "alternates" might become bored to death.

  13. #13
    Member CTPlanner's avatar
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    In our fair community, ZBA alternates sit at the table with the regular members of the board, but don't participate in the public hearing or post-hearing discussion unless they are sitting as a voting member on a given application. When alternates are needed, the chairman tries to select them on a rotating basis so that they each get an equal opportunity to actually participate in the proceedings.

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