Things in Goffstown have been quiet as of late. However, newly appointed Selectman Scott Gross has stirred things up with an unexpected broadside against State Rep. John Burt. We know the identity of this article’s author and have watched the meetings in question. Suffice it to say, things are looking like they might get interesting again thanks to Gross’ hubris. Our thanks to our reliable citizen journalist for dropping a line on what’s happening in Goffstown! ~Publis.
On July 13th, a Goffstown resident addressed the Select Board during public comment and admonished one of the selectmen for using his position as a bully pulpit. While the resident refrained from naming the selectman, a review of the meeting he was referencing clearly showed it was Scott Gross, the man appointed to replace Nick Campasano.
Scott exhibited unprofessional behavior, essentially amounting to abuse of position, at a joint meeting between the Select Board and the Sewer Commission held on June 22nd. Extending the sewer lines up Daniel Plummer Road through to Benchmark on Saint Anselm Drive was one of the topics. At the end of the discussion, Scott made reference to Plan Pinardville, the HUD program proposed in 2013 which was disguised as a commercial revitalization plan but was actually intended to change the zoning to allow for multiple low-income housing projects. Scott proceeded to denounce the residents who fought against the implementation of this plan, referring to them as “conspiracy theorists” that “hijacked” the plan and managed to “derail what is good for the community”. He twice named State Representative John Burt, misrepresenting him as the ring-leader. It was quite obvious Scott felt contempt for Mr. Burt as well as those residents who understood what was hidden behind the HUD smoke screen and wanted to protect their community by retaining the historic small-town character of their neighborhoods.
Scott Gross further declared that the Select Board didn’t need to be “scared” any more. Given the tone and context of his statement, is he saying that the residents don’t need to be consulted or listened to? Seems that way to me, which makes me wonder … should Scott Gross be a selectman with such an attitude? Will he simply seek to implement his own agenda rather than that of the people he’s supposed to serve? For that matter, why was Scott appointed so quickly with no time for public input? (Nick officially resigned on May 11th and Scott was sworn in on May 18th.) Was there fear Scott’s appointment would be protested by members of the public? Exactly what is the vetting process in this town for vacated seats on the Select Board? Were recent candidates for selectman even given proper consideration? I think these are questions that deserve an answer.
In closing, I do agree with Scott in one respect – Pinardville is a great place and we do need revitalization with regard to commerce. There are too many empty store fronts and it seems they are multiplying, with some businesses seeming to disappear overnight. However, Plan Pinardville was not the solution. The answer lies in talking to those business owners who closed shop to ascertain why they left – some simply moving one town over – to determine how we can make Goffstown more business friendly.
Resident Comment (approx 8 minutes in) https://vimeo.com/channels/gtvondemand/133404216
Scott Gross Comment (approx 2 hrs 2 mins in) https://vimeo.com/channels/gtvondemand/131491947
– Citizen Journalist, In The Heart Of Goffstown