On Thursday, Feb. 18, I read the story in The Sun about the proposed condo development on East Avenue. It got me thinking about an old saying: “It all depends upon whose ox is getting gored.” I went online searching for the origin of the saying. It seems that the saying’s origin has been lost to antiquity. However, the origin of the saying may be lost, but the meaning is as true today as it was then. During my search I came across an article written by Mr. Scott Welch, who wrote, “What does the phrase ‘whose ox is gored’ mean? It means, who exactly is being damaged, but it’s a bit more subtle than that. It reflects the idea that we are often complacent about things because our interests are not being affected. Or at least we think not. But that’s often because of intellectual laziness, and when we think a little harder, we see that indeed, it is our ox that is being gored.”
Mr. Welch’s writing is applicable here in Westerly.
For example, on Jan. 20, the Westerly Town Council voted unanimously to adopt the 2020-40 Town Comprehensive Plan. It made no difference to the council members that they did not understand what they were voting on, let alone the ramifications of the plan, the time to vote just seemed to be right. A month later, the chickens come home to roost as in, bad deeds or words return to discomfort their perpetrator. Commenting on the proposed East Avenue condo plan, Council President Ahern made the statement, “I don’t understand how this project has gone as far as it has.”
Well Council President Ahern, may I say, you and five of your colleagues on the council endorsed the 2020-40 Town Comprehensive Plan (TCP) in 2018. Constructively, the town council “adopted” the TCP when they allowed the TCP to be referenced in the developers plan for the development of the mill property in Bradford. With the concurrence of the development plan by the council, Special Master Attorney John A. Dorsey submitted the plan to the Rhode Island Superior Court seeking approval for the sale of a portion of the mill property. Not only did the 2018 council endorse the TCP, it also sanctioned a rezone of the property when the council expressed its approval of the development plan.
So, in response to your statement, it was you, Council President Ahern, and your five council colleagues that allowed the project to get this far.