If you can figure out the title, you know where we are heading.
We are no longer in a "what if" scenario.
Someone made a comment to me after yesterday's Board of Health/Board of Selectmen meeting that I should think of what transpired as something following the concept it is easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
Well in that light, forgive me for failing to understand little of what transpired on a Monday afternoon at Town Hall and forgive me in advance for anything written below.
I am personally hoping for this one to be broadcast often and for a long time.
I know the likelihood of the meeting being replayed in a legal setting is extremely great. Not to mention a review or two to determine just how decisions can be announced ahead of any discussion and vote.
At this point, it is what it is, and to say muddled would be a true understatement.
At this point what would not be an understatement is to note that the one saving grace that may come out of this is the motion of Selectman Haworth. Articulate points/comments leading up to it, clearly thought out and based on the legal avenues available to the town, and more importantly extremely defensible.
His statements and posture on the matter were spot on, correct and necessary. His motion extremely significant. All of which are absolutely supported by this writer.
No matter where you stand on the turbine issue, you should be extremely grateful that someone at that meeting table took the time to do the research and frame an argument and make a motion that could withstand any scrutiny.
In the end it may be the one point that let's the town walk away with a victory.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do things.
We all know that. Indeed we all know a huge part of the problem is the way this matter has been handle in what many of us perceive as the wrong way over the past several years.
What a shame that the intestinal fortitude which suddenly appeared yesterday had not been exhibited sooner.
I also think most people present at the meeting yesterday, and who will see it, deep down realize where the actions taken and what transpired actually fall in that limited spectrum.
How does a board chair post a meeting with the stated notice of "Joint meeting with Board of Selectmen to discuss wind turbines", then on cue declare said turbines a nuisance without knowing or having reason to know that was what he was going to do, and do so with no discussion, no notice of intent, no statement of of the standard of violation, no entry of evidence at the posted meeting, no nothing?
This action easily could have, and if that is an honest position absolutely should have been taken with the necessary pains and process to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s. Forgive the pun, but just when was the switch flipped to let the electricity flow to light that idea bulb?
What forgiveness will there be upon judicial review of that one?
Does anyone seriously believe the developer intends to roll over and play dead?
Does anyone seriously believe the state is going to back the town on this one?
I could provide a check list as to why veering off a clearly defined path to travel to reach a destination is going to at best lead to a very extended and budget busting trip. Quite frankly, I don't see any reason to bother.
It is indeed time for this town to begin a healing process. When you attempt to set a broken limb however you best know what you are doing. This type of triage doesn't seem to have worked in Falmouth, has it?.
The noncompliance issue absolutely needed to be dealt with.
It could have been dealt with by the Selectmen at any one of the six calendared selectmen meetings held between noncompliance announcement and yesterday. It should have been dealt with at a meeting called for that purpose anytime within the 19 days between the announcement of noncompliance and yesterday.
I do get it. I really do. Unfortunately, I think I get it a bit too well, or maybe in fact not at all.
What happens when the 21 day mandate expires? What happens if the developer establishes a means and method to operate within the compliance standards? What happens when the best laid plans of mice and men go awry? Worse yet, what happens if your best just isn't good enough?
I sit here envisioning all the platitudes to be foisted on some, having in fact read some of the same all ready. .
I sincerely hope those platitudes turn out to be actually deserved. There is too much at stake here otherwise, not just in monetary terms, but whether this town will ever heal and truly unite.
May decisions made Monday afternoon be followed by not only the iron will that must exist to see the same carried out, but the ability to see the same through.
I truly and sincerely hope so.