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New rule for P&Z meetings:

CORNWALL — An unusual amendment to its bylaw was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at a meeting earlier this summer. After numerous discussions about meeting attendance, committee members voted to add the requirement that members attend at least half of the meetings held during each year. Anyone who violates the regulation will be asked to resign.Chairman Pat Hare noted that P&Z members are elected, and therefore cannot be ordered to vacate a seat. “It’s been an ongoing issue of having applications drag out because we often don’t have a quorum when it comes time to vote,” Hare said. “These are all good people who want to help out the town by serving on the commission, but things happen and situations change, and they cannot always fulfill their obligation.”The amendment is a way for the commission to procedurally and non-arbitrarily hasten the replacement of members with poor attendance. Two members recently issued their intention to resign because they will not be able to attend a majority of meetings.Along with that, the commission will be more vigilant about issuing meeting reminders and advising when they will not be able to attend. Caucuses to approve nominees for November’s municipal elections resulted in three candidates, all nonincumbents, for four vacant seats. Each is for a five-year term.Also approved was a change of regular meetings to the second Tuesday of the month at the Cornwall Library.

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