Rulings in case of West Stockbridge restaurant are questioned

The chairman of the selectboard has publicly mentioned that he “advises” the business on decibel levels and the musical experience.

To the editor:

As a former selectman with decades of experience, it is very difficult to understand how a business in West Stockbridge operates without a necessary special permit. The business has acknowledged that a special permit is necessary by applying for such which I believe is scheduled for late August (I am reminded of Gordon Rose’s old adage that in West Stockbridge, one can just do whatever because no one is going to stop you).

The special permit requires “findings” that what is being proposed will not be a detriment to the community (i.e., neighbors). Abutters must be notified in writing and have an opportunity to be heard at the formal hearing (In lieu of the special permit, an entertainment license months ago was granted without notifying abutters and allows the business to schedule various musical groups without limits).

The chairman of the selectboard has publicly mentioned that he “advises” the business on decibel levels and the musical experience. It is hard to understand how he does not recuse himself from discussions and decisions regarding the business. Perhaps it is not a “legal” conflict but it sure presents as a “perceived” one.

In the meantime, a business that has been in existence for four-plus decades suffers.

The West Stockbridge Selectboard can do much better.

John A. Beacco Jr.

Lee