(The latest in a series of posts on City government)
Breena Holland is an Associate Professor at Lehigh University in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Initiative. She is a past and current director of Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative.
Can you please clarify something? Did you indicate that after deliberating, none of the ZHB members gave any explanation of their votes? I find that troubling. How would elected officials know whether to reappoint a ZHB member if there is no way get a sense of how they view and reason about local land use decisions? Do you know if ZHB members are prohibited from explaining their decisions, or whether they just remain silent so as to avoid being properly evaluated by those who appoint them later?
Yes, Breena — no explanations. All I have heard is that they enjoy “quasi-judicial” standing, which enables the out-of-view deliberation.