standing Letters

Place matters. We all know that. That place could be this diverse and jagged world, or this great country, neither of which we can influence greatly. The place I’m talking about is Charlestown — our town — and you have great influence to elect smart and responsive leadership in the candidates of the Charlestown Citizens’ Alliance.

These are very trying times. Your life might be slower and simpler, or it might be much faster and much more complicated. To me, the town we live in is as restorative as anything short of a vaccine. I have four reasons for saying that.

The first is the BEAUTY of this place. Not just these sparkling October days, but the elusive beauty of all the senses: touching sand, water, and soil, fragrances of waning flowers, sounds of birds preparing for long flights, and the kaleidoscope of color reflected on our ponds and rivers.

The second is the CONTINUITY of this place. I’ve been coming to Charlestown for 40 years. So much has NOT changed. Sight of the landscape reminds me of good summers with my children growing up. It reminds me of them, and reminds me of my younger self, exploring this town with them.

The third is the HISTORY of this place. I still haven’t scratched the surface of all the stories that make up our history, let alone the 3-D markers, monuments, old houses, and graveyards that preserve those stories. I’m glad for the historical societies in Charlestown and Quonnie.

Last, but most important, is the COMMUNITY of this place — the respect we show, the help we offer to each other. It can’t be forced. It can only be fostered, over a long period of time. And just like our natural environment, it can diminish or vanish without vigilant attention.

Why am I belaboring this? Because I’m convinced the candidates put forth by the CCA understand the importance of place, beauty, continuity, history and community. Not to mention the low mill rate. They have the credentials and courage to sustain these values and to guide the town in well-planned growth. They are all independents to whom these local issues take priority over party. They know their job is creating public policy that works for the majority, not selective interests. They have shown resolve in blocking big-box stores, fending off Amtrak, preventing the hijacking of water. They have shown foresight in protecting our water, wildlife, and dark skies.

Please vote for them!

For Town Council: Bonnie VanSlyke, Sheila Andrew, David Wilkinson, Susan Cooper, and Cody Clarkin; For Planning Commission: Gordon Foer, Walter Mahony, Ruth Platner, and Frances Topping; for town moderator: Ronald Areglado; for School Committee: Gail McAllister.

Mark Hinkley


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