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In Your Opinion: Monument Park Should Be Judged On Its Merits

By Mayor Phil Kramer.

I would like to respond to the Op-Ed in the September 24th FR&A titled “Scrap the monument park; No reward for Prasad’s bad behavior”.

First, I believe I have some credibility when I disagree with the premise of the Op-Ed. My actions have drawn the ire of monument supporters. It was my probing earlier this year that prevented the project from proceeding at a cost of $100K to the town. As the FR&A has documented, I stood up to Mr. Prasad and called his actions reprehensible. I won’t belabor the point with more examples but suffice it to say, I completely agree, aspects of this project have been carried out in the dark and I have no intention of voting for it in its current state.

My objection to the Op-Ed however, is it advocates we not pass the projects as a way of punishing Mr. Prasad as a child. This suggests the council engage in personal politics.  Governing bodies should not pass or reject projects on the basis of who presents it but on the merits of the project itself.

Many people do believe in this project and they, too, are victims if the project is stopped because of the work of one bad actor.  That is why I support a new citizen’s committee conducted out of the influence of any council member and in glaring sunshine.

The Op-Ed touched on an important point, the credibility of this committee highly depends on the members assigned. That is why I advocate Mr. LaCorte, the Chairman of the Republican Party in town, be included. With a properly formed committee, this project will proceed or fail on its merits alone. This project may not be important to some but it is important to others. I’m the Mayor of all of Franklin and I do not have the luxury of focusing on a single point. I must do everything in my power to be fair, especially in a time of controversy.  I take no side except the side of Franklin.

 

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