Letter: Horse racing would change town for worse

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To the editor:

The town of Great Barrington estimated that the governmental cost of the Special Town Meeting to give the residents a choice whether to reopen the racetrack was $4,000 to $5,000. I was privileged to have signed this citizens petition and attended the December meeting. It is indeed unfortunate that it is necessary for a group of citizens to expend their cost and volunteer time to present such a petition. In all cases, it would be proper for the appropriate public officials in the first instance to consider all aspects of a developer's proposal, both what is presented to them by a developer and what are the legitimate concerns of the tax-paying residents of this wonderful town.

As visitors enter our town from the south, they see a peaceful delightful country atmosphere, full of majestic homes and even more majestic maple trees. If there were to be a racetrack rebuilt at the fairgrounds, traffic would be stopped on Route 7 on the 40 to 60 days of racing that is proposed.

I am also highly concerned with animal welfare as we as a society become more knowledgeable about animal training practices, whether it be for a circus or horse racing.

This practice of development at any cost and with little regard for the residents of this town will soon result in tourists and second-home owners looking for a different wonderful town in the Berkshires. Then where will we be?

For these reasons and several others, I voted "Yes" on this petition as a step to restoring democracy to the residents of our town.

Michael Kernan,

Great Barrington



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