Council Retains Board Member – Vermont News

Council Retains Board Member – Vermont News

Lebanon — A veteran Planning Board member who recently found himself under fire for making comments about the proposed Carter Country Club development was partially vindicated on Wednesday, when the City Council voted to reappoint him to the board.

Gregory Schwarz garnered unanimous support from councilors in his bid for another three-year term on the board.

Flanked by neighbors and friends, he argued Wednesday night that serving on the Planning Board doesn’t relinquish his rights to free speech. That’s especially true, Schwarz said, for projects such as the Carter Country Club development, where he has recused himself from an ongoing review. If it’s approved, the development would include 283 single-family homes on a 300-acre lot off of Slayton Hill Road and Buckingham Place, the road where Schwarz lives.

“I have been on the Planning Board for a number of years and I have always tried to be honest, ethical and impartial in all of my dealings,” Schwarz, who has been on the board for nine years, told the council.

Questions revolving around Schwarz’s actions both on and off the board were called into question earlier this month when the council took up his re-nomination, a process that normally proceeds without controversy.

During the April 5 meeting, former Mayor Georgia Tuttle took issue with a petition Schwarz signed along with more than 400 other Lebanon residents calling for a review of the impact development has on Lebanon, saying it was too critical of the city’s professional staff.

Tuttle also said Schwarz’s comments at a Feb. 8 Heritage Commission meeting, where he serves as a representative of the…

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