Special Town Meetings are an inferior forum to discuss anything as important as Lowry. Inferior Special Town Meetings are generally attended by a select few that are focused on an issue and because of lack of attendance (for many valid reasons) something is forced upon everyone else. It is an attempt to win at all costs, limit discussion, and place an unfair burden on many people. The "right thing," the moral imperative, is to have the petitioner, Sarah Thurston, "withdraw the petition" and then let a full regular town meeting decide if Lowry needs to be reevaluated.
Towns must on occasion reevaluate policy. In a world that is changing as fast as today’s, not to look back and rethink is unwise, smug, and unhealthy. Whether you like the idea of Lowry for housing or not, the very fact that the Spruces was washed away should be telling in itself! Situations change! Nothing is set in rock, nothing is set in perpetuity -- nothing! Putting the park there was wrong in the first place. Leaving people there is worse! False hope is worse.
I would gladly accept the outcome at a regular town meeting even if I did not like the outcome because it represents a "valid" outcome and the collective will of town residents. Whatever direction Lowry takes under a Special Town Meeting will taint the outcome and be recorded as such in our history. Taking this nuclear option out of the gate is just plain wrong.
I am so saddened by this maneuver.
Finally, the cynicism that pervades the false efforts to encourage those left at the Spruces to somehow save it is so repugnant, I must ask, "Who are we as a people?"
DANIEL N. GENDRON
Daniel N. Gendron is writing on his own behalf, not the committees he serves; the Finance Committee and the Williamstown Community Preservation Committee.