Thursday, March 23, 2006

What I think: respecting the experts

I would like to see a greater respect for the hard work and expertise of town committees making recommendations to Town Meeting. I know, I know – the committees have a responsibility to educate and persuade Town Meeting, and Town Meeting’s role is not to be a “rubber stamp” granting automatic approval, and there’s got to be checks and balances, etc.

Too often though, the result of hours of incredible diligence and effort by truly expert groups and individuals is cast aside by people who simply have a different opinion, informed or otherwise. I realize that some who oppose a recommendation are themselves expert and have also committed great time and diligence to the issue. And in those cases, their opposition is right and important. But it is a disservice to the town to cavalierly overrule our committees.

I see the current situation with the Select Board and the trees downtown as an example of senseless disrespect for committee work. If we can’t let the planning department and the shade tree committee and the tree warden determine the best trees for downtown, then we are in a bad situation indeed. Town government might well grind to a halt as concerned citizens weigh in on the pros and cons of every conceivable act or decision.


Anonymous said...

I fully support Stephanie's candidacy for Town Meeting. I have known Stephanie for several years, since serving with her on the board of the Survival Center. She is a thoughtful, dedicated individual who will make a fine contribution to Town Meeting and our Town. Vote for Stephanie! Fran Wall