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In Your Opinion: FR&A’s Stance On ‘Grandparents’ Park’ Is Wrong

By Bill Connell, Somerset.

The catalyst of this letter is that I did not think the Franklin Reporter & Advocate’s Editor’s letter regarding parks reflected the wisdom I know he has.

First off though, the park meeting was awesome.  It had lots of respectful participation, and even a petition.  This is good work.  There were a few times a speaker thought they were making a good point but in fact, were revealing their lack of understanding how government works.  There are parameters on how to spend money to protect against misuse. Let’s be honest though, none of speakers really cared about the technical details, they just didn’t want the park built and were hurling whatever would stick.  This made it difficult to sort out what were the real flaws in the park plan and what was “not in my backyard” 

The FR&A editor’s letter implies the choice is obvious but if it was, how come he as a resident never mentioned it. Covid aside, Open Space has meetings every month and he has never said a word at a meeting, but now he’s a genius? Another thing that happened during this process was a Facebook warrior insulted a fellow Open Space member, one of the most intelligent conscientious members we have, and if he were to retire from the committee as the Facebook poster advised, it would be a loss. 

One of the core responsibilities of Open Space is to hear ideas and vet them. We kill just as many ideas as we let through. Coming to the committee and airing out an idea is no guarantee of success, but we have two sessions of public comment in a meeting. Pocket parks are in our goal plan, so it went on to council to review. Council was doing its duty in presenting an idea.

This is a growing town and we are always looking for viable, attainable ways to improve the quality of life. It would be more helpful to tell us what you do like instead of what you don’t like, but know even good ideas are in danger of being crushed by NIMBY. 

Current national events have me wondering where all the normal people are, but the park meeting gives me hope. Allocation of open space dollars is only one small part of Township Council responsibilities, but the park meeting actually was government working well.

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