The latest pronouncement by town counsel Dan Murray on the Weston Town Forest issue represents a morass of virtually incomprehensible linguistic babble. The only nugget I was able to glean from it is that Mr. Murray has access to a dictionary or two and uses that as a basis for his legal decisions. What it in actuality it amounts to is a rather thinly constructed attempt to somehow justify his original opinion that was a remarkable few paragraphs devoid of any common sense.
To sum it up for the research limited Murray many a town forest has a disc golf course and other forms of non-passive activities. If for some reason Mr. Murray actually has a working TRS-80 a cruise on the internet will show that and a dictionary will not. But the real issue is if disc golf is non-passive? To some it is and to others, it is not and that is generally the entire passive argument – the eye of the beholder – with the one solid connection being non-motorized.
I spoke with an attorney who said that at Weston some could interpret hiking as passive, but if I choose to run it would be non-passive. A finite definition, but one to show how convoluted such defining attempts can be. In many instances, horseback riding is considered non-passive and environmentaly destructive. To further the potential idiocy of the argument my legal source said that you could have a nature area accessible only by a boardwalk and that boardwalk could be deemed to have more of a minimal environmental impact and thus the entire area becomes off-limits.
Now I am beginning to sound like attorney Murray.
Enough has been stated regarding the two decisions from the TC. Personally, it appears the original was tailored to suit an argument against disc golf for whatever reason I do not know, but local conspiracy theories abound.
The Weston Committee – of which I am a member – is stagnant and without any authority. My own personal pet project is a boardwalk that would make an area known as Cedar Point accessible year round. Originally part of an Eagle Scout project that has been redefined the boardwalk still remains a priority and other options are being examined.
The first was to have a professionally installed boardwalk done by the Audubon and that would be priced at about $70 per foot. A second option is now in the developmental stages with a request into AmeriCorps for their building of one – about 50 feet. That, of course, is dependent upon massive paperwork and approval of a relatively small scale project. The sloppy method cannot be dismissed as thirty feet of a bog bridge and a few well-placed pallets would accomplish the task. Certainly no award winning architectural designs with that approach.
The importance of such a minor project is really rather major. The area to be accessed once had a bench – little remains – that was used my Mr. Weston to simply sit and enjoy nature. The idea was once the boardwalk was established a marble bench could replace the remains and be dedicated to the benefactor – providing, of course, no serious public uprisings sprout up over such a project.
That is just one idea that is being examined and there are others to utilize the two properties. In the past, even a scout camp was discussed along with a soccer field. Those are distant memories and thankfully never happened. Now the focus can be on a playground, trail expansion, picnic areas and possible easier access to the pond.
Now for more rant directed at some collective ineptness.
The real issue is money and the reluctance for the BOS to actually start funding a few projects by opening up the purse strings that Weston so generously left. As it now stands Attorney Murray has interpreted the Weston Will in such a manner that the committee is one without any influence. We can advise and that is essentially it. How ludicrous is this mess? Our clerk has not been paid since September of 2014.
A small stipend that the Town Manager, BOS and Mr. Murray cannot figure out how to appropriate without a method that would make the Founding Fathers pack up and leave Philadelphia in 1776. This is inexcusable. Maybe we have to start a PAC?
Middleboro has bragging rights that are now memorized: “The second largest land area in Massachusetts.” How about adding on the most neglected, underutilized, underfunded, and poorly maintained land area in the region. That is a FACT!
The latest discovery that I found out about is the gated portion of Rocky Gutter Street that runs through the middle of the WMA (Wildlife Management Area) is under town control. However, the DFW (Fish & Wildlife) is adamant about leaving the entire area untouched. No trail reconstruction or maintenance. This is their policy.
According to a representative of DFW any trails and they use it in quotes are old logging roads or illegally cut trails by ATV’s. In actuality, the majority of the roadways/trails was the result of bog operations with only a minimal of roads being the result of logging. What the DFW ignores is the necessity that some or all be maintained as fire roads.
The CPC is now a subsidiary of the Oliver House Committee and clearly demonstrates everything that I envisioned could possibly go wrong with CPA. It is now a mere fiscal conduit for the militant preservations who are the core of the Oliver House Committee. If I only knew then what I know now.