To The Daily Sun,
Does doing the right thing still matter?
The issue: Rumney’s 250th anniversary and its associated gazebo project.
The Old Home Town Committee’s proposed gazebo location came from years of event celebrations. A temporary grandstand was always located on Main Street. But suddenly, for this anniversary project, a Rumney resident suggested Water Street as an alternate, more aesthetic, location.
Citizen input was undertaken. The poll: Main Street 147 and Water Street 133 votes. Despite 10 percent more for Main Street, the Board of Selectmen ruled it “fairly evenly divided.”
The selectmen ruling in favor of Water Street with the lower vote was questioned. Their defense: safety was primary concern. Their source was the chief of police.
A more authoritative opinion from the Department of Transportation was requested. A DOT site visit occurred, accompanied by the chief of police. The DOT official relayed to the chief of police that both Main Street and Water Street complied with Right-of-Way, and neither had safety issues.
This information dispelling safety concerns against Main Street gazebo location was NOT relayed by the police chief to the Board of Selectmen. The townspeople, especially those favoring the Main Street location, were completely in the dark.
Despite this new information, dispelling safety concerns as the principal reason for negating citizen input, the selectmen finalized their earlier decision to proceed with the gazebo placement on Water Street. What is at play here? What other interest is involved?
We citizens of Rumney, who clearly stated our preference for Main Street gazebo placement, demand that our voices be heard and that the selectmen rescind their now defenseless decision. Their choice will otherwise go down in Rumney’s history, as a glaring example of “what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive” — an odd way to celebrate Rumney’s 250 years.
We, and hopefully the Board of Selectmen, would prefer the alternative — a toast to Rumney town officials — responsive, worthy of trust, just and fair.
Marcosa J. Santiago, MD
- Category: Letters
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