It wasn't much a hearing last night at the Morgan School in South Holyoke. Some regular business like a permit for a Verizon Wireless cell tower, as well as a car lot. Most people were there for the Transfer Station hearing, and after 30 minutes the regular stuff was finished so the Ordinance committee opened the hearing for a presentation by United Waste's chief executive Scott Lemay. But that's as far as it got. Councilor Diosdado Lopez immediately made a motion to continue the hearing until next month over the issue of Spanish translation, and after lengthy inter-committee debate they voted to grant to continuance.
I am much confused by last night's proceedings since, as stated in this Republican story, Councilor Lopez is presently/still in court against the city on this very issue, and according to State ethics laws, that fact should have barred him from sitting on the Ordinance Subcommittee, at least in regards to this matter. I am certain of one thing, they set new record for the shortest transfer station hearing yet. Just over ten minutes.
A total of 35 people were in the room last night at the Morgan School. If you take out all the sitting politicians, and those running for office. As well as others with some special interest connected to the Transfer Station like me reporting it, as well as the HOPE group and Grow Holyoke members, Janitor, and policeman - only 2 people were innocent members of the public. The whole purpose of holding this hearing in Ward 2 was so that people from the neighborhood could participate. I think Holyoke needs to start doing a better job advertising these things, and straighten out how these venues function. If language translation is going to be done for one group I hope it will be done at all public meetings, for everyone who asks for it. My Native American friends have been outraged for years at the lack of translation into the local Nipmuck, and Pocumtuc dialects.
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