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Ex Parte (private) communications

By Mike Cross
Posted Friday, February 11, 2005

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Ex Parte communications... sometimes referred to as inappropriate "ear bending" and "influencing of the judges."

Some land use decisions, i.e., conditional and special use permits, variances and appeals of zoning officials' decisions are quasi-judicial in nature and require all communications be restricted to official Public Hearings to ensure fairness and impartiality on the part of decision makers.

As previously posted on this web log, I have met with Mitch Barron of Newland Properties re: Briar Chapel, Tommy Fonville and Robbie Swain re: Williams Pond and a whole group of affordable housing folks and Mitch Barron to work out an option for affordable housing in Briar Chapel that can actually be executed.

When I'm wrong I'm wrong. My sincere apologies to everyone.

Jeffrey Starkweather of the Chatham Coalition cautioned me about the ex parte communications rule ... and I actually rebutted the idea that I might be breaking any rules.

Then Keith Megginson, county planning director, provided me with my own "hardcopy" and guess what? I could be removed from voting on these issues! When I'm wrong I'm wrong. My sincere apologies to everyone.

This is really unfortunate as I absolutely know I was getting some important and valuable issues in the best interests of my fellow citizens and I surely had no "ill gain" intentions.

"The law is the law -- it applies to both sides of the issues" and "roads are paved with good intentions."

Sooooo, while I clean up my act, it becomes even more important for everyone who has input pertaining to Quasi-Judicial decisions to be sure you present it at the Public Hearings.

I didn't make the laws, rules, ordinances, but I did take a sworn oath of office to conduct my business in accordance with them. I can and will do that!

Related info:
Mike Cross' Weblog
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Ex Parte (private) communications
Chatham County Commisioner Mike Cross shares his viewpoints with citizens on his weblog.

Related info:
Mike Cross' Weblog