Letter: In Henniker, heads should roll
Re “ ‘Agritourism’ causes stir” (Monitor front page, Feb. 6):
Steve Forster of Forster’s Christmas Tree Farm can’t obtain a scrap of paper of charges against him from Henniker’s selectmen, zoning board, planning board or planning consultant to support the cease-and-desist order he received in May to prevent him from holding events or weddings under “Agritourism” as per RSA 21:34-a.
After eight months of appeals with the zoning board, the end result is a rehearing today. Why? Because two members decided that they gave too much weight to letters written by state Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill in support of Forster, affirming what is allowed under state law and economically benefitting New Hampshire farmers since 2007.
Member Leon Parker stated, “She is an advocate for agriculture” and “she was doing in that letter what you would expect her to do.” Parker also thought board member Bruce Trivellini should recuse himself at the rehearing because he “tainted the decision we made.” Accurately citing zoning regulations and state laws is cause for recusal?
The Henniker zoning board is using our tax money for expensive, self-interested follies – again. Green Mountain Explosive Company comes to mind.
This new conflict seems made up and intended to undermine and halt a legally viable and exciting “green” economic endeavor that would greatly benefit all of Henniker’s local services – from soup to nuts.
Who gave a mere verbal authorization to Planning Consultant Mark Fougere to issue a cease-and-desist order and $500 fines a day? The charges of Forster disobeying zoning are undocumented, but some town heads should roll for documented malfeasance.