Sunny
79°
Sunny
Hi 87° | Lo 61°

Lebanon Council Appoints Business Owner to Zoning Board

Lebanon — The City Council last week at least partially plugged a hole in city government by appointing former School Board member Al Patterson to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Patterson, who finished fourth out of four candidates vying for three School Board seats in March, was appointed as a regular member to the zoning board, which has been frequently stalled in recent months over a lack of a quorum.

In the discussion prior to his appointment, City Councilor Nicole Cormen spoke of how the zoning board “has been direly short of members for a very long time.

“I’m glad people are stepping up,” she said.

The Council also appointed former City Councilor Dan Nash to the board as an alternate, who would fill in if a regular member could not attend a meeting.

The appointment came nearly three years after a previous city council had rejected a zoning board application from Nash, citing concern over conflicts of interest. Nash, who owns engineering and consulting firm Advanced Geomatics and Design LLC and has served in the past as chairman of the zoning board, was denied appointment by a vote of 6-3 in June 2009. City councilors at that time said that Nash too often represents developers before the board, and would frequently have to recuse himself from discussion.

Assistant Mayor Steve Wood, who voted against Nash’s inclusion on the board in 2009, said last week that he trusts Nash’s “impartiality” on zoning board matters, and City Councilor Karen Liot Hill said that Nash assured her during the interview process that no conflicts of interest would arise.

“When there might be an issue coming before the zoning board that he might be involved with, he expressed his intention that should that be the case ... he would actually engage a third party to bring that issue forward to the zoning board and that he would not advocate for it,” Liot Hill said. “Not only would he step down from the table, but that he would not advocate for it.”

Cormen, who also voted not to appoint Nash to the board in 2009, said, “I have no doubt of his sincerity in wanting to serve the city and I’m going to support the nomination.”

The vote to appoint Nash as an alternate member to the Zoning Board of Adjustment was unanimous.

Ben Conarck can be reached at bconarck@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.