Wilmington Selectboard considers Schindel re-appointment


WILMINGTON -- The Selectboard has yet to decide whether to reappoint Andy Schindel to the Development Review Board.

"The Selectboard came out of executive session and had a few follow up questions for him," said Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy. "Two of the Selectboard members are going to give him a call. If they're comfortable, they could appoint him at their next meeting."

On March 19, the board had a telephone interview with Schindel, who had served as the DRB Vice Chairman. It would be his fourth three-year term if appointed.

Instead of answering traditional questions set up for candidates who have little or no experience for the position they are seeking to fill, Schindel shared his thoughts on why DRB membership was low. He told the Selectboard that it is a difficult position to hold within the town because it involves time, effort and skills.

"Not everyone is ready to provide that," he continued. "I know I have recruited many of the members who have joined in the last seven or eight years ... I know one of the things that is distressing is that so many of the DRB members have left after a few years. For some, it's just not a good fit. It takes up too much of their time. It's difficult to learn what are, in essence, legal decisions."

Selectboard Chairman Jim Burke told the rest of the board that during an exit interview with a DRB member whose term expired, the former member cited the large amount of time as a reason for his decision not to return.

The job can affect local residents' property rights. Schindel pointed out that it can put people in an uncomfortable position when friends or neighbors are scheduled for a hearing. He also mentioned that some people in town may see the DRB as an impediment to development and spoke of why at least two members may have left.

"The fact is that we rarely turn down an application and I know that our zoning administrator has been of immense help getting projects approved," said Schindel. "I know that some of the DRB members have told me they resigned because of some of the events that surrounded the reappointment of the zoning administrator last year and I think they were also upset that new zoning ordinances were being proposed without the major input of either the DRB or zoning administrator."

A joint special meeting between the Selectboard, Planning Commission, DRB and the zoning administrator was scheduled for April 23 at 6 p.m. Murphy was hopeful the discussion will lead to creating a smoother process between all parties going forward.

Schindel recalled the past when the zoning administrator, planning commission and Selectboard had a positive synergy.

"Essentially, you all spoke with one voice with each supporting each other," added Schindel. "There's a certain tension there, which I hope this positive synergy will be rehashed."

Peter Wallace was appointed to fill a vacancy on the DRB. Kathleen Wallace was appointed to the Memorial Hall Board. Heidi Taylor was appointed to the Bi-Town Committee.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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