"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Lack of Trust And Irrational Fear the Cause of the Taylor/Lions Club Impasse

A part of last Thursday's BoS meeting and discussion about the Lions Club contained some very interesting and somewhat ironic comments about the needs of the community.
In general, I heard people say they agree that we need a facility somewhere in town that would continue to host the many uses that the Lions Club provides. No one disagreed with that sentiment. All agreed also that the Lions Club building needs major renovation. Tom Howard stated that 10 years ago, the estimate to bring the building up to code was approximately $300,000. That has to be more in today's dollars.
The ironic part to me is that citizens do accept the fact that there is a need for such a facility to serve the community. The key word here is need.
So why are we still at square one in determining what to do about it?
There was a warrant article voted down for  $250K funding a plan and further study of what to do about the Taylor property. It was voted down. I get that it was a lot of money, I opposed the amount as well and that it was specific to the Taylor property and not inclusive of the Lions Club.
Yet no one made amendments to reduce the amount and broaden the article to include the Lions Club. Killing the article also killed town funding for a charrette by Plan NH. Nothing is in place to help get the community on the same page.
The why we are here, in my opinion, is lack of trust and irrational fear. It has gotten so that we can't even have a rational honest discussion about any of these issues without people feeling as though someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

A question to ponder is why do you think we ( the voters)  bought the Lions Club and the Taylor property in the first place? Certainly not to be in the landlord business.
If the consensus of the community is to renovate and perhaps expand the Lions Club, so be it, let's do it, If the consensus is to create a little park in the center of town at the Taylor property so be it, let's do it.
Fear of even talking about it though is irrational. Not trusting in the process is not in the best interest of the community.

( PS- A perfect example of irrational fear and mistrust is that some will interpret this post as a pitch for a community center. It is not. I have no opinion on what should or shouldn't be done. It is merely an attempt to plant some seeds in the community as whole to come together and do whatever the consensus may be.)

1 comment:

Joe Cormier said...

I do have an opinion (what a surprise), on what should be done, as in Special Town meeting. Other than that, I'll reserve my opinion on what should be done, and wait to cast my vote, if that opportunity ever presents itself

Town clerk website minutes of this last annual meeting:
Ballot voters:Voters Cast -665 (Tuesday not Saturday)

Article 12 secret ballot: 355 voters (105 yes – 250 no) more than 2 to 1 against.

"ARTICLE 12
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000) to determine the use of the Town owned property known as the former Taylor property located at 970 Whittier Highway. To include the cost of any necessary engineering, design and development. The Select Board, with input from the community at public meetings, will determine the final use of the property including the former Taylor home and move forward with implementing the determined use. If necessary, the Select Board will present a warrant article for additional implementation funding at the 2019 Town Meeting. Said amount to be taken from the unassigned fund balance as of December 31, 2017.

(Recommended by Selectmen 3 Yes –2 No)
(Recommended by Advisory Budget Committee 5 Yes –0 No)

Article 12 was initially read by Selectmen Bartlett who refused to move the article for deliberation. It was subsequently moved by Selectman Wakefield and seconded by Selectman Shipp.

-This article was defeated by a secret ballot. YES -105 NO -250"

Some facets that may have caused some concern:

“ … to determine the use of the Town owned property known as the former Taylor property … To include the cost of any necessary engineering, design and development.”

* The inclusion of “costs,” ... of ...“necessary,”... may have not been congruent to “determining the use”.

“The Select Board, with input from the community at public meetings, will determine the final use of the property .”

* Why the Select Board? That could mean three out of five votes decide. “Input” from the community, ... as in more studies, .. that are not trusted.

“If necessary, the Select Board will present a warrant article for additional implementation funding at the 2019 Town Meeting. “

* in addition to the $250,000 ... that is "determination", ... not “implementation”