To The Daily Sun,
I was sorry to learn Lou Kahn has resigned from the Meredith Selectboard.
I am surprised to find myself writing in support of Lou. The first time I had an encounter with him was a number of years ago. Lou was a volunteer on the Planning Board, and I, along with a number of other people from my area, was fighting the development of some property we hoped to preserve. After a number of meetings, the Planning Board was on the verge of voting to prohibit the development, and the developers of the property asked that their application be withdrawn. For a variety of procedural reasons, things were put on hold until the next meeting. At the next meeting, Lou presented a resolution proposing a solution to a very difficult situation. To the dismay of those of us who were fighting the development, the board adopted Lou's proposal, and we were defeated.
At the time, I remember that, despite my disappointment, I felt appreciation for all the people on that board. These were people donating their time, experience, and wisdom trying to find solutions to difficult issues. No matter what the outcome on that particular issue, there would be disappointed parties, and possibly damaged parties. I was impressed that we had people who were willing to take on such a thankless task.
I remember leaving the four-hour Selectboard meeting on the Route 3 & 25 traffic problem, concerned about the tenor and outcome of that meeting. It had to be frustrating for everyone who had served on the 3/25 committee. Under the format used, I do not think any proposal would have passed that night. There seemed to be no focus to the meeting other than to agree that the solution presented by the committee was not perfect. More than the result, I was discouraged by the process and the tone of the discussion.
I feel that we are very fortunate in this state, and especially in our town of Meredith, to have people who give so much to make our town and our state function so well. I do not think defeating the proposal was the problem. I fear the problem is the way the people who worked for so long and hard trying to find an improvement to an intractable problem were treated. I worry that, as a result, people who have worked hard on our various committees and boards will feel that their efforts are not appreciated. That they and others who might think about stepping up and volunteering will be discouraged by the way others have been treated, and their efforts not valued. I fear that the generous and reasonable people who have been so important in having our town function will drop out and not step up in the future.
I thank so many of you who have served so selflessly for this town, and I hope you will continue in your difficult jobs. I can think of few who have worked as hard as Lou Kahn over the years. Even though you disappointed me with your motion so many years ago, I have never doubted your integrity or your motivation. So a special thanks to you, Lou.
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