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True friends

Dear Editor:

As I read about the town council’s (5-2) vote to pull all of its funding for the running of the Visitors Center (well run now by the Chamber of Commerce) and turn those funds over to the TTC, I was struck by a strong sense of deja vu.

I remembered the surfacing of the “True Friends of Reservoir Hill” a while back. The “True Friends” consisted of five of the seven town trustees, “acting in the best interest of the ‘community’” who took a sketchy outline of a business plan, full of untested assumptions about income and expenses, ignored legitimate feedback, worked outside of the public eye and acted unilaterally to radically change the character of a perfectly fine community asset (Reservoir Hill Park).

They met with a massive defeat at the hands of the town voters.

At a Sept. 11 town/county work session on the Visitors Center, there were pledges by everyone around the table to move carefully and thoughtfully forward together, to gather facts and understand the costs and lots of rhetoric about working as a community. Only Commissioner Whiting asked for a complete plan with financials and asked why we were “fixing something that didn’t seem broken.”

I read the mayor’s comments about us being “one community … or in a boat together” or something like that. David Mitchem waxed about communicating better going forward. I agreed. I was encouraged about the whole community working through to a possibly exciting new direction, together.

This latest vote to defund the Visitors Center, consisted of five of the seven town trustees (the same five), “acting in the best interest of the ‘community,’” who took a sketchy outline of a business plan, full of untested assumptions about income and expenses, ignored legitimate feedback and acted unilaterally to radically change the character of a perfectly fine community asset (Visitors Center).

Are they now the “True Friends of the Visitors Center?”?With “True Friends” like these, who needs enemies?

Ann Bubb

This story was posted on October 3, 2013.