The lift is in place. The materials have been delivered. Everything is in readiness to begin putting vinyl siding on Emanuel Lutheran Church. But, as reported by John Mason in this morning's Register-Star, Alderman Chris Wagoner (Third Ward) is making a heroic last ditch effort to stop the project and, in the process, is questioning Peter Wurster's suitability for his job, at least so far as protecting Hudson's historic properties is concerned.
It has become clear that Wurster never issued a stop-work order. Instead, claiming that the Historic Preservation Commission "dropped the ball," he went ahead and issued a building permit, knowing full well that the HPC had not granted a certificate of appropriateness and were unlikely to do so. At the Common Council meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Scalera, responding to a question from Wagoner, said it was Wurster's "legal opinion" that a building permit could be issued without a certificate of appropriateness because more than sixty days had passed since the application had been submitted, but there is no evidence that a completed application ever was actually submitted or accepted. Tom Swope, chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, doesn't have the application, and it's not clear if Wurster does.