This was published in the Grunter today.
In last week’s paper there was a report on a future uses of Town Hall forum conducted by the Friends on November 13. The forum was attended by a quorum of our Selectmen and was described as an opportunity for representatives of 17 non-profit organizations to express their needs for community meeting space and other possible uses for a restored Brewster Hall.
So what’s wrong with that? Well, lets take a step back. This is a private group, along with our Board of Selectmen, conducting a needs survey of local organizations, with an emphasis on satisfying those needs through a particular publicly funded project that has been repeatedly rejected by the voters.
Concerts were identified as a potential use, yet we have a brand new performing arts center in town sporting a world class Steinway concert grand piano. Lectures, film-screenings, and children programs sound like the short-list of justifications being given for a new library. Flower shows and off season farmer’s market – really? It’s a solution looking for a problem.
It all goes to my ongoing objection to the Selectmen moving planning authority for Brewster Hall outside of the public domain. If we are going to bring in the various service organizations of the town to discuss how the town might spend millions of dollars to accommodate their needs, we ought to have a process that allows all citizens to participate in deciding the best way to do that.
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.