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14 appointed to continue study of Port Chester form-based code

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The Port Chester Village Board created a committee to study and recommend changes to their zoning law.
In a very unusual move the village requires appointed committee members to give up their First Amendment right to speak, through this language:
“Each member shall not appear at a public meeting or provide public comments, as a member of the committee or as a citizen, to at any time criticize, question, comment or provide insight about the Board as to its actions on any matter related to the charge of the Committee, unless directed by the Board.”
In an article by the Westmore News posted below, Coalition President Paul Wolf stated the following regarding this language:
“There should never be an effort by government officials to muzzle the ability of citizens to question, criticize or comment regarding any issue, people have a First Amendment right to speak and this important right should not be restricted because one is willing to dedicate their time as a member of a village committee. People are rightfully passionate about zoning issues, and it is important that all voices and opinions be heard, including the members serving on the Form-Based Code Study Committee.”
This paragraph imposes an improper gag order on committee members a new resolution be passed with the referenced language removed.”
It is truly amazing the lengths government officials will go to restrict people from questioning or criticizing what they are doing.

The Author

Paul is the founder of the NY Coalition For Open Government and has truly loved seeing it become what it is today and is excited about its future growth.

As an attorney for 32 years, he is a partner in the law firm of Berzer & Wolf. Prior to his private law practice, Paul served in several government positions with the Buffalo Common Council, Buffalo Housing Authority, and Erie County.

When he is not practicing law and doing open government stuff, Paul enjoys spending time with his spouse, Cheryl, and his three children, Michael, Joseph, and Julia. Paul resides in Amherst, NY, a suburb of Buffalo.

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