Voters deserve right to choose Town House option

Mar 26, 2018

Marion — To the Editor:

I am extremely upset with the selectmen's decision to highjack the choice between a new Town House and renovating the existing building from the voters.

I attended the informational meeting on March 1 with the understanding that the taxpayers would make the final decision at Town Meeting. Now, we are being told that we don't have that right.

Why did the selectmen spend all our money on committees and studies and development of the two choices. Was it only a dog and pony show? I know that my preference for the new building was in the minority at the March 1 meeting. However, I felt that a Town Meeting vote would be a fair way to decide the issue.

I think many of those who spoke in favor of the renovation let nostalgia and emotion get in the way of a sound business decision. And while money plays a role in my preference for the new building, it is not the only reason why I am strongly in favor of it. The existing townhouse was not designed for its current use and all the proposed renovations are not going to make it as "user friendly" (or should I say accessible) as the new one's floor design.

I am also not convinced that the deterioration and mold conditions of the existing building can be completely remediated. The new building will be more efficient to operate, easily accessible, with plenty of parking and right next door to the Community Center, which would be the ideal for public meetings.

I had to chuckle at Mr. Hills comments: “If cost were most important, we would all be living in tiny houses, driving old cars and the harbor would be full of eight-foot row boats.”

It seems to me he thinks he can make an old whale boat into a modern day cruise ship.

Let me suggest another comparison. My first car was a used 1950 Ford purchased in early summer of 1959 (between my junior and senior years of high school) for $50.00.

That car used more oil than gasoline, but I put a glass pack muffler and new hubcaps (wheel covers) on it and drove it for the summer. I sold it in September for $75.00. There is still lot of nostalgia there.

If today, however, I was to take that car and put on a new body, a 302 V8 engine, automatic transmission, great sound system, GPS, etc., etc. it would still not meet the quality and standards of today's automobiles. Lets' not try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

At the very least let the people of Marion decide at Town Meeting. And, by the way, what would happen if the Town Meeting decides not to spend the money for renovation? Do we then waste money on another special Town Meeting to vote for the other option? Just one man's opinion.

Sincerely,

Bob La Crosse

 

Comments (1)
Posted by: Brian M Canto | Mar 27, 2018 14:06

Well said Mr La Crosse, it seems to me that our elected officials are taking liberties that are well beyond the scope of their responsibilities to the town residents.

We all appreciate the nostalgia and history of our town, its what makes our town special but at the same time we have a fiscal responsibility to the next wave of families and children in this town.  These decisions should be planned out carefully with full voter approval, one way or another.  Its a shame that options seems to have been taken from us.



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