Three applicants who have been seeking approval from the city’s Planning Commission are hoping the third time is a charm after the board’s prior two meetings were canceled.

In both July and August, the seven-member Planning Commission was unable to hold a quorum of four members for their monthly meeting.

The cancellations didn’t sit well with Mayor Michael Villa — nor should they.

“If they’re unable to participate then they should resign and we’ll replace them,” Villa said. “I know it’s volunteer and I know we all have busy lives, but the commitment is to that one night to hold a meeting with quorum so these issues can be addressed. We’ll look to replace if there’s continued absences.”

The mayor sent a memo to commission members stressing the importance of attending scheduled meetings.

We urge him to act quickly to replace members if there are further meeting cancellations.

Yes, Planning Commission members are volunteers, but they were aware of their responsibilities when they decided to serve on the board.  With proper communication and planning there should be no reason they can’t have at least four people available for one monthly meeting.

Three of the applicants who have been waiting their turn to come before the board since July are seeking site plan approvals. Imagine waiting an additional two months to get a project going just because a municipal board can’t hold a meeting.

City Planning Commission Chairman Paul Gavry suggested that perhaps alternate members could be appointed which is a procedure used by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. A key difference, however, is that the zoning board only has five members.

We think that if there are any continued absences it would be more appropriate for the mayor to find replacements who will take serving on the Planning Commission more seriously.