The Brookside Estate residents have displayed far more patience than I would after the perfect storm of a bankrupt developer, a Planning Board and Department that have failed miserably and the various other avoidance techniques that seem so embedded in Middleboro. The BOS – Diane Stewart in particular – seemed more concerned about the potential legal actions against the town that the residents implied rather than addressing the issue.
The issue would have been ignored at least for one meeting since it was not on the agenda. This was the result of what a normal person(s) would consider a communication error and be done with it. But instead, we were subjected to a brouhaha among Chairman Allin Frawley and Selectwoman Dalpe. No doubt there has been some simmering discourse on the BOS and this minor matter just brought the ire to the surface of one of the most entertaining evenings with a Trump-like performance by both verbal combatants.
After the children calmed themselves the matter was resolved by letting the Brookside folks speak under “unanticipated.” The residents certainly had their collective facts and figures in order with both a detailed historical overview and informative comments to any BOS inquiries. Maybe the presenters should replace the Planning Board?
One presenter mentioned the systemic issues in Middleboro that have developers approaching our humble community with a certain level of trepidation. Is it true? An anecdotal incident that I experienced would give a certain degree of credence to that mindset. While at Breakfast at Friendly’s over a year ago I had the privilege of sitting behind two individuals who were developers discussing the very topic of Middleboro. The eavesdropping of their exchange certainly “backed up” what the Brookside presenter stated.
Since I am such an adept prognosticator – such as my first place prediction for the Red Sox in 2015 – I will predict that the residents be prepared for a legal struggle as the town will turtle on this entire mess. I will also predict that the town will fail and fail miserably if they choose to eventually end up in court over their own malfeasance and inability to correct a wrong.
Bumpkin apparently leads each of his Gazette articles with a hostage crisis update with the hostage being the Weston Town Forest Committee of which I happen to be a member. The hostage is two-fold with the first being the extended wait for a further clarification from Town Attorney Dan Murray on recreation. The second is the purgatory the committee is currently in as we have to beg for funds from our overseers – the BOS.
Middleboro is a disaster regarding land use. Even Pratt Farm needs some substantial upgrades and other town property has an occasional bog bridge and/or kiosk describing what trails may or may not exist. As a side note, Pratt Farm has, at least, a mile of former trails that no longer exist thanks to the growth and neglect. The rest of the town land inventory is anembarrassment
The sidebar of this blog contains a list of trail links to other towns and they do it right. Well marked trails, maintained, proper bridges and boardwalks and a list of stewards for each property. As an avid trail runner, those are there for a reason – I have run them on numerous occasions. How is this to be corrected?
At one point Middleboro had an Open Space Committee and that was – I imagine – to be their responsibility. Also, it should not and I repeat in loud, boisterous talk – NOT – the responsibility of an overburdened and understaffed Conservation Agent. The committee should act in conjunction with but with a certain level of independence. Funds are available and certainly CPC can figure out some way of tossing a few crumbs to land use since they managed to pump over one-half million dollars into the Oliver House.
Our legislative contingent has been active – especially Keiko Orall – in getting some funding for the restoration of Massasoit State Park. The Department of Conservation and Recreation can certainly provide some resources other than monetary. Wildlands Trust has many properties in town and be approached.
Back to Weston.
The Weston folks are not what one would assume being a group of brie eating tree huggers with Obama or Gore bumper stickers on their cars. They happened to be folks – like myself – with an ardent desire to utilize the land for one and all. Weston could provide a nice template for other town property, providing the BOS manages to actually relinquish some of our funding and to give approval of our projects. A recent project (Disc Golf) failed primarily to our own ineptness at championing the project. So be it and move on.
Weston has an existing trail system on both properties – bonus points if (1). You knew there were two properties and (2). You know where they are. The trails are in generally reasonable shape, but upgrades are necessary, such as marking, mapping, brochures, boardwalks and routine trail improvement. I understand the mapping is an item that is being pursued elsewhere in town and we can simply be part of it.
I had mentioned template and that is what both Weston and Pratt Farm should be. Just reference (again) the sidebar links to see how it is done elsewhere.
What is really necessary is the BOS to be more proactive in land usage in Middleboro including putting some pressure on the Department of Fish and Game to seriously upgrade Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area – and that is just one state property that is in neglect. The town property should also be prioritized for exactly what needs to be accomplished. Time to place a higher value on the land that will far exceed any use of the Oliver House.
The national race for president seems to be similar to a battle between Jessie and Jack.
Bernie Sanders had to face off with a crowd that included a liberal (political and numbers) smattering of Black activist that brought up the ultimate “Free Stuff” option – reparations. Reparations had been an item that has occasionally surfaced to address our illustrious past history regarding slavery and post-slavery issues. Just how such a can of worms would be financed is another issue.
Where does the fiscal ball stop on reparations? Most of the country could be handed back to Native Americans. And Japanese internment? Pogroms against the Irish when they can to America? You could create quite a list of those who could stake a fiscal claimed over any aggrievement.