It was with great concern that I read Article 18 on the warrant for Great Barrington’s Town Meeting on May 6. This proposed "property maintenance" law features a long list of vague requirements subject to wide interpretation of aesthetics, the maintenance of property, and painting of homes. Who is going to interpret this poorly-written, ill-conceived law? The police? The building inspector? The cultural council? Of course, if the condition of a property or building is endangering its occupants or neighbors, then action should be taken under existing regulations. Otherwise, town government should butt out.
What a slippery slope! Before long, does the town start telling us what color to paint our homes, or how often to mow our lawns? Where does it stop? To roughly paraphrase Voltaire, "I may disapprove of your pink plastic lawn flamingoes, but I will defend to the death your right to display them!"
Please vote NO on Article 18.