Berne Town Board is stacking the planning board to appoint Mr. Spargo chair

To the Editor:

Your readers will be surprised to learn that the town of Berne has become a hotbed of development activity. New projects have flooded into the town’s planning board at such a rate and demonstrating such complexity that the town board has finally stepped up to the plate and taken bold action.

The town board has determined that the town must increase the number of planning board members from five to seven. It will hold an exciting “special” public hearing on Wednesday, April 29, to allow the public the ability to cheer the town board on.

Unfortunately, many folks in town don’t have internet access and likely would not have known about this celebration and most likely won’t be able to participate. The board blames this lack of participation on the coronavirus and insists that only Zoom participation can be allowed.

Some have complained that this bold move can wait till after the emergency, but the town has determined that the increase in the membership on the planning board is one of its principal priorities.

The town board has conceded that the move will increase the payroll but, in the crush of the developments proposed, such hardship must be endured.

To lead this exciting expansion and to bring these long-awaited development plans into fruition, the town board proposes to name Tom Spargo as chair of the Berne Planning Board. Mr. Spargo apparently is considered the man for the job having been previously convicted in federal court of extortion and bribery.  He served 24 months in federal prison for these crimes further cementing his qualifications.

The town board had previously attempted to appoint Mr. Spargo as chair by firing one of the planning board members in order to create a vacancy. That board member, although recovering from life-threatening brain surgery, had the temerity to start a GoFundMe page and sued the town board, claiming that her dismissal was illegal.

Surprisingly, and in a scathing opinion, the court agreed and removed Mr. Spargo and reinstated the board member.

Feeling the immense pressure of the multiple development plans before the planning board, the town board has now seized upon its present plan of stacking the planning board and achieving its goal of appointing Mr. Spargo.

A member of the town board has recently anonymously opined: “In no time at all we’ll look like Scarsdale … or maybe even Yonkers!”

(N.B. For those inclined to take matters literally, the above is intended as satire.)

Lawrence Zimmerman


Berne Planning Board

Editor’s note: See related story.

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