The Columbia County Board of Supervisors voted tonight by a wide margin to approve the “Porreca Plan,” limiting negotiations with Meadowgreens to easements on a small number of acres.
Only Supervisors Michael Benson of New Lebanon, John Reilly of Gallatin and Erik Tyree of Taghkanic voted against the resolution, with Matt Murrell of Stockport abstaining due to his conflict of interest. Hudson’s Rick Scalera, who was a rumored “no” before the meeting, qualified his “yes” vote by saying he hoped the plan could be modified at a later date.
The vote came after Benson made yet another morning-before-the-meeting attempt to stall the process—the same process he had once tried to accelerate or short-circuit.
This time Benson had the planning firm Clough Harbor do what he called a “voluntary peer review” of his preferred airport plans, based as best as one could tell solely on information he had spoonfed them. Apparently no one was buying these antics anymore, including the Republican Caucus—which met in private before the meeting, and reportedly heard a presentation from the New Lebanon Supervisor.
Meadowgreens principal Carmen Nero was denied a chance to address the Board just before the vote. A motion by Tyree to let him speak was shot down. (Some proponents of the Porreca Plan, despite not wanting to derail the vote yet again, felt that Nero should have been allowed to speak, on general principle.)
This observer would estimate that among the “yes” votes, about 1/3 voted that way because they were convinced it was the right thing; about 1/3 wanted the controversial topic off their desks and followed party leadership, and the last third think that the vote will force Nero to revise down his offer to sell the whole property. In any case, further attention by the public may prove necessary in coming months and years to prevent various County employees, officials and consultants from watering down or undermining the outcome.