Maybe site for new park was not suitable to begin with

Dear Editor:

I would respectfully request permission to submit an observation and opinion on the development of the controversial public park currently under development in Long Pond.

In particular I find it inconceivable but not surprising that three levels of government could commit four to five million dollars of taxpayers’ money to a development and overlook one of the most obvious requirements, that being the provision of adequate public parking.

This obvious and glaring omission raises concerns and flags as to the amount of planning if any that went into the project from its conception.

All would agree that parks and public spaces are essential components in the fabric of all progressive communities. When properly planned and developed they are beneficial assets and contribute to the health, happiness and well being of all citizens.

The site selected for the “plaza community park,” as subsequent studies indicated, had a number of significant limitations and development challenges from its inception. Some would argue that the site was not suitable to begin with.

Sometimes those who stand up and question the status quo and who offer opinions and suggestions contrary to the mainstream of action are perceived as the opposition and should be ignored.

However, the smooth functioning of a healthy democracy is based on the application of checks and balances where constructive criticism is welcomed and encouraged by those in decisionmaking roles.

One might say: “Oh but It is much easier to watch the game from the stands.”

This premise is often true, but one often gets a much better perspective of the activity within the arena from a distance. It is from a distance that one can best observe the ebb and flow of the game, the skill of the players, the strategies of the coaches while keeping a safe distance from the sometimes-bruising, jarring action.

We may or may not be in total support of the venue, but we are committed to pay for our seat whether it is occupied or not. 

Parking is available by the way. It is located up the street. It will cost you extra.

Parking is not free at the park, and it appears it will never be.

It is quite obvious that the town may be committed beyond the point of no return on this project.

All the taxpayers of the town, whether we like it or not, have a vested interest and are financially committed to the completion of this venture.

This experience should serve as a lesson and an example to the keepers of the public purse who have a fiduciary responsibility for the wise and prudent expenditure of public funds on the taxpayer’s behalf.

As taxpayers we have a duty to remind elected officials that they act on the authority that was given them by the voters of the town.

The primary responsibility of our elected officials is to provide leadership and act in the best interests of the citizens they were elected to represent.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the editor for providing space in which to offer my view on this important public issue.

Respectfully submitted,

Roger Jefford


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