After reading Brent Runyon’s piece in Friday’s Enterprise, restoring the pillars of good government is, arguably, not the interest of some selectmen. The board of selectmen’s approval (in executive session, no less), to file for a perimeter plan that places a zoning freeze on the pitifully ineffective old wind turbine bylaw, does absolutely nothing to protect, nor preserve, the interests of Falmouth.
In Falmouth, trust has been probably one of the most under-achieved attributes on display by the board of selectmen. In its absence, through the litany of town hall misfortunes and mistakes, the people have become paralyzed. Paralyzed by fear, by anger and have been locked into inaction, as underscored by the miserable voter turnout the past five years. I needn’t say what this lack of trust costs the community. To be clear, it isn’t simply about money.
The board of selectmen’s executive session (December 3) and the subsequent action taken, requires serious public examination. To quote President John F. Kennedy, “A government that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a government that is afraid of its people.”
Transparency, accountability and ethics are the pillars of good government. Then, truly, our selectmen’s “fear of the people” that President Kennedy spoke of will continue to allow the board to make unethical decisions that lack transparency. Those supposed leaders will be accountable to no one, and the public trust will continue to erode.
I’ve been a “town crier” on the wind turbine issue. Yet, this is not about the environment, town budget or misplaced wind turbines. Rather, it is about the role of selectmen in a community that holds close its freedoms and sense of justice.
Is there any justice in retaining a bylaw that has broken our community so? Is there any sense in retaining an ineffective bylaw, when out the other side of their mouth, the selectmen admittedly support the planning board’s in- tent to fix the old bylaw?
It’s time the selectmen debate the crucial issues of principle. Trust is a skill. It is a measurable competency that brings dramatic results to restoring the pillars of good government.
Mark J. Cool
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