CORTLANDT, N.Y. ‒ Cortlandt Town Board members have appointed James Creighton to fill the Planning Board vacancy left by former member John Bernard.
The White Plains attorney, Cortlandt resident and 15-year member of the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Advisory Board was appointed at Tuesday evening's meeting.
The Planning Board reviews applications for residential subdivisions, multi-family dwellings, site plans and commercial buildings. Board members serve seven-year terms and receive an annual $4,488 stipend.
Planning Board activities are often a magnet for eventual Town Board members. Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi became interested in politics through the Planning Board, and Council Member John Sloan served on the Planning Board for 10 years before he was elected to the Town Board.
Creighton said that although the planning process is considered dry by some, the long-lasting nature of its decisions drew him in.
"The planning process is one of the best ways for the town to really define itself," said Creighton. "When people look back to what [the town] used to be …usually they end up pointing back 20 or 30 years to decisions that were made [by the Planning Board]," he said.
As for the nuts and bolts work of the board, Creighton said: "Those kinds of details don't bother me. I don't find them to be dry. I know the amount of work is fairly intense, but I really enjoy giving whatever I can to the town."
Creighton will fill the remainder of Bernard's term, which ends this year. It is very likely he will be reappointed in January 2014 for a new seven-year term. Cortlandt Town Board members reviewed applications from about 10 residents and interviewed eight.
"Boy, we had some terrific applicants, and we have some vacancies on our other committees ‒ Jim's replacement on the PRC Advisory Board, for example," Puglisi said.
Puglisi said anyone interested in serving on the Planning Board in the future should volunteer for one of the town's many other boards. That, she said, is one of the best ways to get involved in Cortlandt government.
"It's like being a town councilperson and then maybe eventually running for supervisor, like I did," she said.