Spoon Agave for Selectboard

I’m running for the three year seat because it takes that long to learn how to do the job with at least moderate effectiveness.  I’ve lived long enough to know the value of experience, practice and training.  If I do a good job and the voters want me back I will remain on the board for additional terms.  My experience is especially valuable at this point because with three new people coming on there is a possibility that among the five member Selectboard we could have an aggregate experience of only 4 years, or less than one year per person.

I’m not running because I want to give back to my community.  There are a thousand ways to do that other than holding public office.  I am running because I love the work.  I clearly understand the challenges and have the skills and ideas to meet them.   I have prepared myself for this job. I have the time.  Four hours a week may be fine in the hazy lazy days of summer.  If it needs twelve hours a week in the more intense periods of fall and spring then I will gladly do that too.  I can’t imagine being “too busy” for a responsibility this important.  What we do on the Selectboard effects the lives of 12,000 people.  On the Finance Committee I had to understand what debt really meant to a community.  I got my hands on two fat college textbooks for courses on municipal finances and I educated myself.  That’s what I do.  It’s critical to make the right decision.
I believe everyone deserves a decent life.  A decent home, a fulfilling job, good health care, access to education and opportunity.  No exceptions.
One of the qualities of Brattleboro that I appreciate most is its diversity.  I’m well aware that there is yet far too much intolerance but from the perspective of how far we have come in the last forty years and in comparison with other communities we have a lot to be proud of.  For sure the arts and creative culture could not flourish nearly to the extent it does without the diversity we enjoy.
There are at least three major areas that must capture our attention and focus.  They are planning, affordability and regionalization.  All three are connected.  We have not done well in any of them.  As a result we’ve become a town with exceptionally high taxes and nearly the lowest average household income.
The lack of planning causes almost everything to cost more.  It requires us to always be reactive rather than proactive.  We write a town plan, a vision, but create no strategic plan to implement it.  Thus the Town Plan is shelved and forgotten.  We take out loans for 20 years but have a capital plan for only six years.  Debt burden thus runs from low to through the roof without any meshing with the towns economy.  We have no municipal master planning at all.  Thus every project is stand alone and consequently costs more.  The Police/Fire facility project, for which we have just bonded for 20 million dollars adding the interest, could probably have achieved its most  important goals for several million dollars less had it been approached and designed within a master plan.  We could smooth out budgeting problems and save money by doing five year budgeting rather than one year at a time.  I will do what I can to open these issues when I’m elected.  The P/F project is not a done deal.  More than anything else I intend to upgrade our planning and planning skills.
Brattleboro has one of the highest tax rates in the state and one of the lowest average household incomes.  This is a result of decades of inertia.  Jobs started draining out in the 1960’s, fifty years ago.  On top of that we are facing, over the next two years, the highest total tax rate rise, perhaps more than 40 cents, in the history of the town.   That must and can be addressed.  The causes of this situation is not a great mystery if one understands municipal finances.  My four years as chair of the Town Finance Committee has made all of this quite apparent and understandable.
I also know that we have double the tax rates of the surrounding towns in significant part because we provide them with services that we pay for.  The big picture here is that no one town in the region can survive by itself.  We are totally interdependent.  We need their food and forests, watersheds and wildlife.  They need our hub for jobs, health care, education, elderly housing, shopping etc.  No town in the region is sustainable without the others.  We’re going to have to share the costs of it all, too.
What does our aging population mean?  Probably that the younger generation is going to have to work a little harder for the next couple decades until the number of boomers dying off is larger than the number retiring.  During that period we’ll need more resources for that age group.  To mitigate that somewhat it is important to also develop ways to get as much productivity from the elderly.  Most retirees are quite healthy and vigorous in the early years of retirement.  They not only can contribute a lot but most enjoy the rewards of doing so.   
The Selectboard should have frequent and regular reports on all the important data in the housing sector.  It needs to be constantly balancing need and availability.  

We’ll certainly need more housing for the elderly. Regional cost sharing will help greatly here too.  The housing should be designed so that as it can be easily converted to other types of housing, such as families or for other uses entirely.

Media issues: 
River Garden – the Selectboard must get an accurate gauge of public sentiment.
Skateboard park – I’m not convinced that the Crowell Lot is the best location. I will study that.
On the media as communication:  I want to find a way to hook up the town to every resident with an email address and start making available all useful information.  It can also be used to gather ideas and town-wide opinion.

Much thanks and appreciation to iBrattleboro for this site and opportunity. 

Please vote for me.  Ben Spoon Agave

• Selectboard 1 year  2006-7
• Town Finance Committee  4 years (chair, 4 yrs) present
• Development Review Board   6 years present
• Charter Revision Commission  3 ½ years  (chair, 3 ½ yrs)
• Planning Commission 6 years (chair, 1 ½ yrs)
• Board of Civil Authority   1 year
• Traffic and Safety Committee   1 year
• Former Bus Advisory Committee  (ex-officio)
• Town Meeting Member  12 years

Comments | 32

  • Leadership Question

    “Study is a tedious disguise for wickedness, a way of diverting people from the simple disconcerting truth.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

    Does a project as simple as a decision to alter a beloved play space and locate a 10,000+ sq. ft. “world class” cement skate board park in a tiny 2.1 acre park with NO toilets and little parking at the top of one of the steepest hills in Brattleboro in a residential neighborhood on the major entranceway to the downtown retail district in a town with so many already existing paved dead zones, as well as thoughtfully planned large recreational parks, require more study? If so, how much? And what is it that you will study? Or does it require the will to get the job done well, and the vision of leaders who can anticipate the negative fallout that bad planning and development decisions produce in towns and neighborhoods where citizens value their homes, their neighborhoods, and their neighbors?

    I don’t suggest that you are wicked, Spoon, and I have always appreciated how much you have to offer and how much you have contributed to this town. As you well know, Kevin and I have always had a sign in our front yard supporting any run you’ve made.

    That said, as someone who was sitting on a Development Review Board responsible, in part, but in no small way, for one of the most divisive and contentious debacles we’ve ever seen since we lived in Brattleboro, can you say more about why folks should vote for you to guide the town into the future, which requires lots of study for really big decision making?

    Your acknowledgment of the thousands of ways people contribute to a community beyond official committee work and attending meetings is very much appreciated, however.

    -Barry Adams

    • You've been immersed in this

      You’ve been immersed in this issue, Barry, and I haven’t. However I take the rap for not being clear. What I want to study (and that really isn’t the right word, perhaps it’s investigate) is what is wrong with other proposed sites. And thanks for connecting your name to your handle.

  • Finances and Planning

    I understand that for some people the skate park is the make-or-break issue in this election, but I just want to point out that Spoon has raised many other important issues in his statement. For me, the points he makes about the disparity between taxes and household income are important in both the short and long run. If we don’t get a handle on that problem we’re in for some very rough sledding. And by “we,” I mean the folks whose household income is already stretched to the limit and the town as a whole.

    I think Spoon is right about the need for longer range planning and a master plan that doesn’t sit on the shelf. If we are going to provide needed municipal services without breaking the banks of residents who are already struggling financially, we need to deal with these very real problems.

    I appreciate Spoon’s laying these issues out so clearly and letting us know the direction he plans to move in.

    • Beyond Skate boarding

      I also agree with several of Spoon’s insights. The development of a public skate park is not the make-or-break issue in this election as I see it; the make-or-break issue is Trust and Confidence (note my use of capital letters).

      Without those, the most penetrating insights and vision for the future are at risk of never producing much. The skatepark was gravy decision making and planning but, nonetheless, very sensitive.

      If our current decision makers did not see the meaning it held for both current opponents of the planning and process, and its long-term supporters, can we expect them to get a handle on the big stuff, like long range planning and the sensitive politics that will entail?

      • Clarification

        I’m not sure I’m totally following you here. I agree about the importance of trust and confidence, and in the end, that is a decision each of us will make when we cast our ballots. I’m not sure what you mean in your last paragraph. It sounds like you are saying that the way that current and past Selectboards have dealt with the skate park issue is a litmus test for the ability of future Boards to do other long range planning, but I may be misunderstanding you.

        In any case, my point was somewhat different: I think the issues Spoon is raising are crucial for the Selectboard and the town to deal with if we want to have a town that people can afford to live in.

        That said, I do think that the town could improve their process for resident participation, and that doing so would go a long way to making our town more democratic.

        • Important Decision Makers

          I guess what I am trying to say is that it would be foolish to not look at the record of a gaffe as large as this has become (and understandably so) when considering individual candidates for future office, if they were on town bodies that so clearly contributed to such a calamity. I look back at the record and I see decisions made behind closed doors, surly arrogance by those the citizen elected SB is supposed to oversee, very real strategic constraints on citizen participation, technical legal wrangling instead of solutions or answers, ignoring standard processes in the review of planning and development, the refusal to convey information to town committees by concerned citizens TRYING to participate, blatant dismissal by the Brattleboro DRB of a recommendation by the Brattleboro Planning Department (based on a meeting of several departments), arbitrary decisions and interpretation of codified language, etc. etc. etc.

          So yes, I believe that future boards can be encumbered from good decision making by the sneaky politics that so many see as part of this particular scenario. I am, frankly, sick of Brattleboro town leaders and departments controversial bungling and confusing sneaky micro-management and iron fisted control with leadership. They are not the same. It would have only take ONE SINGLE person on the DRB, in the Administration, or SB to stand up (long time ago) and say, “No. This can only harm the community and the cause of skaters who have been promised (with a wink?) a skatepark. Let’s back up and do it right” at any number of junctures along the way, even if it resulted in a skatepark in Crowell Park. I want to see leaders immerse themselves (at least to some degree) on issues they are making decisions about, and that includes considering the recommendations of professionals like those on the Brattleboro Tree Advisory Committee, the Brattleboro Planning Department, the Police Department, and folks who have long records as professional experts on related issues, and listening to citizens, before they make irreversable decisons.

          I respect Spoon’s views on the bigger issues, but we can benefit from his participation as an active citizen (if he isn’t also shut down)as we ask ourselves: Where’s the accountability to the public before running for another seat on a different town Board?

  • But

    I appreciate Spoon’s willingness to run and his volunteer spirit. He thinks and he investigates. He has been on a number of town committees and on the Selectboard before. But in his last time on the SB he often voted on issues entirely oppositely to what he’d expressed he was in favor of or against. For that reason I can’t vote for him again.

    • BUT

      “But in his last time on the SB he often voted on issues entirely oppositely to what he’d expressed he was in favor of or against.”
      Can you please explain this a little better?

      • what do you need explaining?

        What isn’t clear? Plainly put, he’d say one thing and do the other. Is that better?

        • And don't misconstrue

          My not-voting for Spoon doesn’t mean I’m voting for Kate. As I said, I already voted, for Ian Bigelow.

  • Crowell Park's Trees and Hedge

    I am outraged and completely object to the fact the skateboard park plan has been approved and allowed to irreversibly proceed piecemeal. It has charged forth by strategically securing just the immediate concrete skate park structure itself now as the final step and intentional stranglehold of process of Crowell Lot’s fate without town wide citizen evaluation while disregarding refined details for a comprehensive overall park plan. It is critical for all those involved outside BASIC inner circle to deliver a long awaited plan that would make actual determinations how other park features and use areas will be directly affected, such as alterations of the playground, playfield, visability, reduced buffers and inground removal of major and detrimental portions of aging trees critical root zones areas replaced by a mass of concrete (in three dimensional cubic ft that is), drainage components and the compacting of foot paths overlying these area trees once relied on but will now occupy by manmade structures instead.

    What purpose does substituting more false assurances of the currently undetermined severity of eventual consequential affects, repercussions and costs that persist with a questionable track record that has in the past as well as in the present moment continues to attempt, hastily pacify, temporarily suffice, deceptively appease and somewhat illegitimately compensates for a certain loss but rather leads to and causes more public outcry with even more unknowns for the lack of thoughtful future planning considerate of present park users and overall vision of park health and safety for Crowell Lot as a scenic byway and once spacicous green neighborhood area. It’s no less a hack job in this respect and disrespectful of citizens constant requests for definition.
    All these unanswered questions are certainly not the priority(lets just get the skatepark built in first then deal with everything else involved mentality), when once again continuing a pattern in the face of avoiding (or at the very least puting on the back burner with no flame in sight) and not adequately addressing or being accountable for concerned citizens objections to negative impacts that may trip up the skateparks’s streamlined foothold and ardent determination to secure development or set back a couple of steps (strides in their case) to fill in and justify the entire picture.

    What purpose will the public Q and A walk through last fall with ASD/Stantec designer have pointlessly served, when so many of the questions asked are still at large, outstanding and completely unanswered.
    There have been no arborist’s report offered by BASIC or ASD in order to compare to those findings and reports professionally conducted in the fall of 2011 by a ISA certified arborist specializing in park development in order to assess the risks and chance of survivability to existing trees surrounding the perimeter of the to be concrete skatepark considering the construction excavation required to put in 11,000 sq ft of the concrete skatepark plan to come and permanently rest on at the foot of park trees.

    It has been adamantly stated by BASIC through social media, selectboard meetings and local newspapers stating on several occasions, No trees will be Harmed. Well it looks like they will be punching a hole in the front hedge to create uphill visiability (solution?) to the newly relocated playground closer to and near slope leading to a busy and dangerous interection to the road below just so you finally know that will most likely happen. There will be tree removal within the Union hill buffer to create a man made berm and fence. What’s the fence going to look like??, well it may be made out of wood, but that’s as much as we know. Tree number 6 at the skate park’s entrance is to be eliminated. I think cutting a tree down constitutes harm.
    The whole vague undeveloped picture of how the buffer areas are to be dealt with is symbolic of the deficiencies of respect to local users. It make as much sense as a gold plated pooper scooper in my opinion.

    My question to Spoon is, will he address these issues if elected and why did he sit by silently as a DRB meeting member when the conceptual skateboard park was approved for a building permit as a “minor” change to the Crowell Park it will significanty occupy and affect forever?

  • ............ in other words

    In short, the town continues to evasively leave out crucial and necessary explantions for public consideration of what will exactly happen to the park’s overall well being as a whole and safety for all it’s users directly resulting from the skatebpark’s construction and activity, what it means for limitations for other park uses exactly, what it will look like.
    I believe this is an intentional effort to avoid and deceptively rid themselves of further and mounting opposition proving and continuing to draw attention, a swirling(storm) around this issue, without a doubt, and represents an inconvenient burden of controversy already clinging and potentially weighing them down when persistently maintaining a tactical reaction of further unaccountability that has worked in the past (hopefully nagging at their conscience having used blatant impartiality and exclusion to drive the project forward) that threatens to slow forward momentum to the skatepark project.
    They got the skatepark plan approved without overall park plan just before elections didn’t they? where future recourse is more difficult.
    Just look at the turn out of those who objected to a convoluted, hard to trace, incoherent process that left so many hanging out to dry (with one sole objective to the credit of their effort to have a tangible, not virtual skatepark) voicing more concerns recent selectboard and schoolboard meetings going way back over and over again and the formation of SOPC and RESITE and two year battle that has been permitted to ensue if that’s not enough to convince you.
    This issue must be properly dealt with everyone in mind for everyones sake as well as the intrinsic value Of Crowell Park as it stands so a viable trust in town government can begin to be restored. Les Montgomery

  • Spoon, Sí; Allen, No!

    I’ve worked with Spoon Agave on several town projects. He’s always impressed me by the thoroughness of his approach to the business at hand, He prepares himself well, and he thinks deeply. I feel he’s the kind of leader Brattleboro needs.
    O’Connor, on the other hand, displayed a basic defect in character when she attacked a local radio personality and tried to get him fired.
    She had every right to work for Tarrant’s campaign, but no right to be deceptive in characterizing her role in it. Writing directly to his bosses was over the top.
    Moving along, I was in attendance at a Selectboard meeting where a Housing Authority issue was being discussed. Then-Selectman Allen opined that the trouble with Brattleboro was that there’s too much affordable housing. Anyone who can make such a stupid statement does not deserve to be in a position of responsibility in our town.
    There are five other people running against him. Do the town a favor by voting for two of them.

    • When does an "Opinion" become Libelous in Intent?

      “Basic defect in character”? Come ON! I can see someone proposing, in humor, that being involved in politics is a character defect … sort of like “shoot all the lawyers”, right? But here, such wording is just too, too strong. Directing such an accusation at an individual, in public, with the intention of harming their reputation, is IMHO evidence of libelous intent.

      Kate took a job working for Tarrant; what of it? Some folks make their living in politics without pledging themselves to one party. And having been at the side, and enjoyed the confidence of, a Governor cum major Presidential candidate, I think Kate had every right to test those ‘consultancy’-type waters with Tarrant.

      I have never made my living in politics, but I’m a long-time Democrat and yet I ran as a Libertarian for State’s Attorney once. I have voted for, and endorsed, an occasional Republican. Maybe I just liked them … what of it? I ran against a fellow Democrat once because he did not, in my opinion, do what was best for our community.

      When you do that kind of thing, you may have to take your lumps from the party stalwarts. Kate has been ‘in the fray’, and nevertheless is back for more. Watch her carefully … I don’t think you will ever see her do anything unprofessional or unethical. In fact, I think she is both a careful and caring politician — well-mannered and with great poise.

      • What of it??!

        “Kate took a job working for Tarrant; what of it?” You are right…there is no intrinsic problem with that.
        But again you are missing the point, which is that she afterwards offered conflicting contradictory statements about that job. To this day, no one knows which it is. There IS an intrinsic problem in this aspect of the story.

        But more problematic was that when fairly questioned about it, she wrote a stinking letter to a boss insinuating that the questions should not have been asked.
        And you say here that no one “will ever see her do anything unprofessional or unethical” !! Sorry John, but we just saw unprofessional and unethical conduct right here in this narrative.

      • "Basic defect in character"?

        This defect I referred to was not her work for Tarrant. As I already stated, She was well within her rights doing it.
        Even lying about it can be seen as merely gilding the lily.
        She crossed the line when she went over his head and attempted to cost him his job. (it really happened — the letter has been made public). That is what I consider a character defect.
        Sorry that you can’t see it.

        • Pet Peeve

          No, I just like to name it when people cross the line in politics over into slander and libel. There’s no good reason to drag peoples’ characters through the mud. In psychology, the phrase ‘character flaw’ has a very specific meaning, and it’s not pretty. Someone needs to name this sort of SMEAR when it happens.

          • Slander and Libel

            slander n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed

            libel n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation.


            You will notice the operative word in each definition is “untruth”.

  • Financial Qualifications

    Spoon, on the Finance Committee, where you are Chair and we have served together for two years, you have frequently said that the members of the Selectboard need more training or orientation in finances. I have felt that ‘targeting’ the Selectboard in this regard was indelicate, to say the least, and have struggled to get more inclusive language in that recommendation (‘other Town officials’ etc.).

    Spoon what is your own background (education, training, and experience) in finances, management, economics, etc.? Please respond in particular about your own education and training in this regard, since that is what you have been recommending for others who would hold the position you now aspire to.

    • Formal Ed isn't everything.

      George W. Bush attended high school at prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He then attended Yale University, graduating with a B.A. in history. Bush subsequently attended the Harvard Business School, where he earned a Master of Business Administration.
      Eric Hoffer was an American moral and social philosopher, a California longshoreman who wrote “The True Believer” and nine other fascinating, provocative books without spending a day in school.
      Enough said!

    • Financial Qualifications?

      I am always amused by this questioner’s constant reminder that he has his MBA – it gets mentioned in most posts and comments he makes, and many times the letters show up after his name. I don’t see how a 30-year old-degree from a state school gives anyone more credibility than someone like Spoon who is constantly reading and learning. I don’t know much about Spoon, and I have no idea what his formal education level is, but I have observed him to be a dedicated and thoughtful studier of any issue he tackles. In terms of financial qualifications, his commitment to current learning trumps that ancient MBA degree anytime.

      • logic

        A graduate degree is certainly no guarantee of deductive reasoning skills, as has been apparent in this and other threads. No disrespect intended, John, but your arguments often violate certain rational sequencing. And that, for me, disqualifies you as a reliable source of information. I’m sure you have other fine qualities.

        • Question

          Is John Wilmerdinger running for an elected political office of some sort I am unaware of where you would expect a reiteration of such credentials, or merely a concerned citizen emphazing a self proclaimed and impressive scholastic repertoire I’m sure is a valid representation of his background but congruently used to aid and insinuate further credence to his assertions ? Either way, all comments and perspectives are appreciated and welcome in my book.

          However, I do find it puzzling he has gone to such lengths to endorse a candidate while remaining neutral (maybe open, certainly entitiled to his own opinion) to many he represents surrounding the skatepark issue as a town rep and to his credit siting some of the deficencies in process that have been brought up in the past by others involved, yet desires a candidate who has clearly stated she wants the skatepark at Crowell Park.

          This will impose further limitations on the possiblilty of an open public process deserved to occur, is overdue and has been a long time coming if at all (2 years)and continues a pattern intentionally restrictive for crucial public scrutiny to equally evaluate it’s criteria and take into consideration findings as this “major” development directly affects all of us concerned. Automatically ruling this opportunity out will cause another predetermination to detour meaningful discussion necessary for resolve in this ongoing, unsettled and pressing issue.

          Kate’s position means there will most likely not be an opportunity to revisit this issue as requested by a growing movement in opposition to this particular location as unsuitable for so many reasons and who continue to question how it arrived there in the first place.

          • Correction

            You can edit your post. If you’re going to criticize me in public, please spell my name correctly.

          • Name correction

            A mentor once told me that in a published piece it is important to be precise about the correct spelling of someone’s name. He explained that, even though it might seem like a trivial error, if you get someone’s name wrong, it can cast doubt on whether you checked the accuracy of other, more important facts.

            Nonetheless, I had to chuckle seeing how touchy John Wilmerding is about his name, in view of his own carelessness with name spellings.

          • Sorry ...

            Steven, I just posted a correction.

          • This is Not a One-Issue Race

            Glad you noticed my public witness on many occasions about the grievous flaws in the skatepark approval process. I remain officially neutral, but it is difficult to take this stance. Yet when you yourself raised the issue of property values declining, I knew I would have to do so.

            You have some dozens of other Town Representatives to aim at. Why take pot shots at the one who has taken great pains to speak publicly to the issues you seem most passionate about, and from behind the screen of anonymity yet?

      • Foul ... and Fail

        … merely because the poster is anonymous.

  • Misspelling

    I apologize for misspelling of Wilmerding, it was not intentional, but I think you have me confused with someone else about emphasizing a possible change in property values up or down from the skatepark development, although I’m sure this is a possiblity. I have only said it may be difficult to sell a house next to a skatepark, yet it is more than likely property taxes won’t go down reflective of it’s development. I can not be positive about certain values because there are many dependent factors that affect this and incidentally the least of the arguments stressed by opponents I can see. I have no argument or empirical evidence to support such an allegation or assumption, such as real estate surveys/appraisals on the subject or a definite decline in property taxes for the area once a skatepark goes in such close proximity as for the neighborhood area surrounding which the Crowell Park is central to.

    I have expressed repeatedly my reasons for rejecting the Crowell Park site here on ibrattleboro for what I think are better options, so there is no need to go into it all over again.

    As far as pot shots, I saw a vivid contradiction and brought attention to it, was wondering what the motivation was, where it was coming from. Sorry if it has personally offended you, but you are playing the robust game of politics here aren’t you, if it is a game/race win or lose, but regardless you are putting it out here as commentary that begs a rebuttal. PS I don’t think you can edit after other comments have responded to your post, correct me if I’m wrong, Les Montgomery

  • No Problem

    Thank you,

    I just don’t agree with a candidate going into this election like Kate has already done embodying and upholding a preconceived position without possibly considering all the facts of an issue as contentious and divisive as it has been concerning the skatepark location at Crowell that still demands resolution. There is a real danger in not recognizing a conspicuous defect in town government as an intentional impediment of misconduct when tolerating deceptive behaviour by town leaders both that disturbs and alters the present core virtues within our political system and structure, especially when it persistently operates this way, a desperate means to an end. It’s importance and remedy of full disclosure from here on end, must be dealt with first and formost before any other issue can be tackled.

    Her current position may just perpetuates a previous stance of evasive acknowledgement and denial a selective agenda was resorted to in order to disregard and isolate a certain constituency of tax payers who may have posed a threat to hinder the forward momentum of this project, just as some of those she intends to replace had effectively deemed it so, adopting this approach as the most effective for desired results and put defensively into motion free of outside intervention of public scrutiny.

    Once again this unfortunately sets a fixed, uncompromising precedence and course wielding a defiant sense of entitlement and authority when resisting what is democratically expected for rational and receptive discernment for all those valid grievances voiced from the public, including the opposition as well. These include citizen’s rights to seek out and find real guidance and leadership that hopefully prevails and invites checks and balances in “our” town government but did not in this case. The example of this kind of driven attitude from leaders to get things done is recklessly dismisive and renders citizens actual involvement trivial when permitted to walk over and overide in overdrive people’s concerns. But if we are to make conscientious progress as a town, attention must be brought to the fact town government can not be allowed to proceed in this manner, potentially once again with a new board. If we don’t take a stand, this atmosphere will only continue to support, exacerbate and further demonstrate to those in power we are willing accept another stretch to strategically bypass and manipulate the system to one’s own advantage works to implement and achieve a certain self propelled directive showing once again this can and does happen.

    This old school approach is inherently problematic and endemic of instigating public divisiveness producing undo aggravation to citizens by neglecting or not adequately addressing the necessity for town wide public inclusion when the need undoubtedly exists and persists, as an essential part of the process that never happened as it concerns Crowell Park. The lack of process deprived equal say and did not allow for any relevant ability for concerned citizen to equally evaluate criteria and consider alternative sites before the town leaders when it counted the most. This departure was the stubborn failure to remain unaccountable and unavailable we have already suffered through long enough and has to change, it most likely won’t end with Kate on this issue, same old status quo in mind.

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