selectmen were correct, but...
lack of interest, bordering on arrogance, over
new roundabout concerns
very beginning of Monday's informational hearing
about building a roundabout at Wallace and Mast,
residents who attended were told by selectman
David Pierce that the project is a done deal, is
"going to happen", and that a
"question and answer" period would
follow the presentation on the construction of
it. The decision had already been made.
Well, OK, the Board of Selectmen, technically, was
within their rights to do so, as two public
hearings have already been held on this subject.
But those hearings were held last year,
before we found out about the 13.84% tax increase
we're about to be hit with.
Every resident I spoke to, some of whom attended
and others who did not, all believed that the
roundabout project was NOT a "done
deal", and that Monday's hearing was intended
to help decide that question. And many were
angered enough over the way Pierce started the
meeting off that they got up and left.
I left, too. Not because of Pierce's
announcement or his attitude, and not because I
thought this was a public hearing. I already
knew going in that the roundabout was a "done
I left because it was quickly made crystal clear
that nothing the residents in attendance had to
say would change a single thing selectmen had
already decided. And that's not only
contrary to the board's obligation to listen to
the concerns of their constituents - and act upon
them accordingly, but also because it went
directly against statements made by chairman Scott
Gross as seen in a Goffstown News article of May
20th. That statement is the main reason I
attended (albeit briefly).
The article states, "Selectman Scott Gross said at this point in time, the town will move ahead with this plan
unless residents voice strong opposition to it."
proposed in Goffstown, Goffstown News,
4/20/2010). That statement intrigued
me. I soon discovered, though, that it
didn't matter if residents had strong opposition
to it or not.
Goffstown News article states Gross
said after the hearing, "...communication with the public could have been better."
"Roundabout 'proposed' "..."unless residents voice strong opposition to
it"..."communication with the public could have been
I can certainly see how residents could have
misunderstood the intent of the hearing, and the
fact that the board had already decided to go
ahead with the project. Selectmen should
have understood that as well and not only
reconsider their decision to go forward at this
time, but should delay the project until another
public hearing - with better public notice - can
be scheduled to allow more public input that they
received last year.
not forget that the public hearings on this
roundabout last year were held before
we found out our 13.84% tax hike.
Selectmen need to realize that with this new tax
increase, taxpayers certainly have much more
reason for concern about spending over half a
million dollars on another roundabout than they
did a year ago. They deserve a chance to
reconsider their position on the subject, and
deserve to expect selectmen to reconsider their
decision as well.
Selectmen must put the project on hold and
schedule another public hearing as soon as
possible. There's no doubt in my mind that
if they do, the hearing this time will be packed
with attendees, and my guess is that the vast
majority will no doubt "voice strong
opposition to it." Maybe that's what
they're afraid of?
Selectmen, DO THE RIGHT THING on this. Your constituents
are speaking loud and clear, both to you and in
the media. Listen to them.
GOFFSTOWN NEWS ARTICLE
Roundabout moves ahead despite resident upset
Guy Caron can be
reached via e-mail at: GuyC@GoffstownResidentsAssociation.com
Columns by Guy Caron
DISCLAIMER: The opinions
expressed by Mr. Caron are not necessarily those of the
Goffstown Residents Association or its members.
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