September 24, 2011 (Alpine) – Alpine Community Planning Group member George Barnett resigned following last night’s meeting, Barnett has informed ECM. “It’s time for me to move on towards other community service activities I wish to pursue, and for others to pick up the baton at the Alpine Community Planning Group,” he said.
Barnett had been the target of persistent criticisms from APCG member Lou Russo. At last night’s meeting, Russo circulated a hand-out claiming that Barnett “changed his story repeatedly regarding the Powerlink Ad Hoc Committee.” He has forwarded contradictory emails suggesting Barnett first indicated members were being kept apprised, but that Barnett later conceded that he knew of no other members nominated or appointed. Russo had previously asked for an investigation by the APCG and to have his complaint added to the agenda; no disciplinary action has been taken.
Barnett has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. “I refuse to tolerate slander at a public form, month after month, and not have the ability to defend and respond appropriately.”
He served as an elected member of the planning group for four years and was later appointed for his last year of service.
“I consider my `greatest’ accomplishment was working to get a pair of residential developers off the board; individuals that chaired the Private Action Subcommittee (which deals in land use and zoning issues related to development projects) and that chaired the Circulation Subcommittee (which deals with roadways),” Barnett told ECM. “Both persons were found guilty in a civil trial of defrauding a third partner in a property development project and pled guilty to criminal charges to avoid prosecution in Superior Court by the District Attorney. They have subsequently left Alpine.”
Barnett also served as a member of the ACPG’s Trails and Parks Subcommittee for several years. He says he is “proud to have been a part of the effort to bring forward two real parkland possibilities, a small 2-acre passive pocket park in East Alpine and a large 10-acre active sports complex in north Alpine—projects that have been worked on over the past six years by many, many people including former ACPG member Brad Bailey.” He expressed disappointment that he has not seen those projects brought to fruition and expressed concern that whether the ACPG will continue to pursue those possibilities may now be in doubt, adding, “There are forces in the ACPG working at odds to them.”
The process for filling a vacancy is as follows:
1. ACPG accepts a resignation and agrees that a vacancy exists
2. The ACPG posts public notice of the vacancy and invites applications to fill it
3. The ACPG reviews applications and applicants, and votes its choice
4. The ACPG advises the County of its choice
5. The Board of Supervisors appoints a replacement; typically the ACPG’s suggested applicant.
The process typically takes approximately three months before a new member is seated.