New Castle Planning Board meets for first time after member's boycott over Israeli flag

At the Dec. 5 meeting, longtime member Tom Curley read a letter to the Town Board explaining he would boycott meetings until the flag was removed. That just left two board members, which isn't enough to hold a meeting under state law. 

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Dec 20, 2023, 2:28 AM

Updated 213 days ago

Share:

On Tuesday night, the New Castle Planning Board held its first meeting since a member forced the last meeting to be canceled over the Israeli flag flying outside town hall.
At the Dec. 5 meeting, longtime member Tom Curley read a letter to the Town Board explaining he would boycott meetings until the flag was removed. That just left two board members, which isn't enough to hold a meeting under state law. 
The flag still flying, he didn't attend Tuesday, but that didn't stop the board from meeting.
 Four of five board members attended. 
 It was a relief for some people who had business before the board that had to be put off last time.
"For the town board to assume and then to declare by implication my sympathies for any other nation by displaying its flag is an overreach far beyond your legislative civic duties," Curley said then. 
That meant architect Wallace Toscano had to keep waiting for approval on the project he's working on.
"There could've been a different way of handling it," he said.
He explains Curley's one of his favorite people, but he should've picked a day when the board would've had a quorum without him.
New Castle Town Supervisor Lisa Katz shared a statement after the last meeting, acknowledging Curley's right to express his views, but criticizing the timing.
Katz expressed disappointment, citing its unfair impact on applicants and professionals who were expected to participate in the Planning Board meeting.
Other planning board members tell News 12 the town has a law, allowing alternates to appear instead of Curley.
The next meeting is Jan. 2
 


More from News 12