I am amazed by the beauty all around Charlestown. In a marvel of design, the town completed a bike path for $300,000 that managed to avoid all scenic views. Our town also spent roughly $130,000 on a sign for Ninigret park. To paraphrase the great Allen Iverson, we’re talking about a sign.
A recent post on the Charlestown Citizens Alliance website by Charlestown Town Council member Ms. Van Slyke suggested (but so carefully worded as to not outright say) that the importance of voting for the budget, and implicitly, a new community/rec/senior center, has nothing to do with said building. Instead we need that community center to keep a possible concert venue from being built, which would bring tourists and “outsiders” swarming to our town like locusts, leaving their cars helter skelter until the whole park resembles a junkyard from hell. “Oh the noise! The noise, noise, noise noise!” Dr. Seuss could have eloquently added for her.
I feel a bit foolish. I’ve been thinking that someone on the town council really had a thing for signs. I commended the decision to keep children on bicycles from distraction by avoiding any beautiful scenic vistas, of teaching them that even by continuously moving, sometimes you go nowhere and see nothing. Now, though, I wonder. If the powers in charge are willing to spend three million dollars just to insure our park stays dark and quiet for a select few, did they not have the best intentions when spending the million dollars for the park that voters overwhelmingly approved?
I love Charlestown. I love the rural character. I also really enjoy having events and activities to do in town, whether being awed by the sights at Frosty Drew or enjoying a concert. I am happy to share our town with people who do not live here. I want our local economy, so reliant on tourists and part time residents, to thrive. I want the next young entrepreneur to feel like they can succeed in our town.
If the people currently in positions of power do not wish to do anything at Ninigret to keep the neighbors up at night, that is fine. However, make sure that any any proposed project in fact benefits the whole town, and is for the greater good for as many as possible. And know this: Ninigret Park is my park, along with the other 8000+ people who live here. We will continue to vote down cynical ploys to keep the minority happy, at the expense of the citizens at large.