Issue of: May 20, 1998  

 

P&Z’s Rinker resigns, rails on commission


By ALYSON WILSON
Express Staff Writer

When asked to shape up or ship out of the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission, Bart Rinker opted to set sail.

"There were personal time commitment issues, but also motivation and frustration issues as well," Rinker, a perennial dissenter against growth-control tactics, explained last week.

"This has been building up over the last 60 days," he said. "I was always at odds on growth and other issues."

A letter from Blaine County Commissioners, measured Rinker’s meeting attendance at around 60 percent and asked the man to review his participation on the P&Z.

"He couldn’t make the full commitment," County Commissioner Len Harlig said, adding P&Z members must regularly make site visits, review reports and spend as much, if not more, time preparing for hearings than actually attending them.

"They said my attendance level was not up to par," Rinker said.

Rinker’s repeated absence was more a matter of uneasiness with P&Z actions and methods rather than one of general apathy, he said.

"They need to clean house and get things up and running," Rinker said.

"They weren’t getting things done that should’ve been done a long time ago," he said, referring to various planning projects such as revisions to the subdivision ordinance.

"The revisions to control growth were not taking into consideration where growth should go...and it’s coming," Rinker added. "If you can’t plan for the growth, you shouldn’t be making revisions to limit it."

Perhaps surprisingly, Rinker’s obstinate opposition to P&Z means was not poorly received.

"Bart had a valuable place on the board," P&Z member Tom Bowman said. "He tested my opinions...was the only one who had the ability to do so and used county codes and ordinances. He was really good at that."

However, Rinker’s challenging and adversarial position was not enough for Bowman.

"He did miss some big meetings where he would’ve had to put his butt on the line," Bowman said. "There’s no room on the board for recreational P&Z members."

As for Rinker’s replacement, Bowman said he would like to see someone equally as challenging, knowledgeable and articulate.

"Possibly a developer or a Realtor," he said. "How can we hash things out in public if we don’t have different viewpoints?"

P&Z chair Cindy Mann was unavailable for comment before press time.

 

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