invented 'facts' to support his personal preference
Clever wording in Goffstown News
skewed the truth
Last week, selectman David Pierce wrote a letter to the Goffstown News outlining the reasons he is not in favor of restricting the Glen Lake beach to residents only.
In his letter, he supports his position with what
on the surface appear to be viable 'facts'.
But if we take a close look at Pierce's 'facts',
we discover they are nothing of the kind:
wrote, "...the limited parking spaces "appear" to be filled by out-of-towners. Yes, it is probably true that nonresidents do avail themselves of our town's waterfront; however, it behooves Goffstown to maintain its reputation as an open and inviting town to all who want to avail themselves of our recreational
To begin with, no coherent resident of
Goffstown thinks the 18 parking spaces at Glen
Lake only "appear" to be filled by
non-residents. We all know the majority
of them are, in fact, occupied by out-of-town
vehicles day after day. And saying it's
"probably true" that it is used by
non-residents is a clever attempt to suppress
the facts. It's not "probably"
true, it is definitely true. And
he knows it. So why would he write this?
also wrote, "...(restricting the waterfront) presents legal and financial complications. State laws and court interpretations provide towns a good degree of immunity from liability from injuries occurring at
outdoor recreational sites. If Goffstown should exclude some portion of the general public or charge a parking fee (the equivalent of charging a fee to access the beach), the town would lose its immunity from liability and have greater exposure to
I emailed the above quote to my
attorney. Minutes later he called and
asked me if the quote was really attributable
to one of our selectmen. He was incredulous
(and very amused) to find out it was. The first thing he
pointed out is that state law does NOT provide
towns with "a good degree of
immunity" at recreational areas. He
also pointed out that the Glen Lake beach area
is posted as "No lifeguard on duty.
Swim at your own risk." This,
he told me, completely absolves the town from
liability to any potential lawsuits as
speculated by Pierce, regardless of whether
the beach is restricted to residents-only or
not. Pierce knows this, too.
So why would he write this?
wrote, "...it is important to note that even if the town's insurance carrier felt it could provide coverage, there might be an increase cost for this coverage. Also, the town would have an additional financial cost to provide an increased safe environment for the waterfront patrons. This extra financial cost would come from needing two lifeguards on duty during the hours the fees are imposed; docks or ropes defining the guarded areas for small children and adults; the frequent removing of floating and submerged hazards; and documented periodic inspections in case they are needed in
By now my attorney was laughing hysterically.
"You've got to be kidding, right?"
he asked me. He again pointed out that
if a residents-only town beach is posted
"No lifeguard on duty. Swim at your
own risk," as Glen Lake is, then
there is no need for defined swimming areas,
docks, ropes, lifeguards or anything else,
legal or otherwise. And he wondered out
loud how Pierce could feign concern over the
financial costs when a beach area open to
anyone necessarily means a higher financial
burden to taxpayers.
knows full well that what he wrote in his letter is bogus.
why would he write this?
answer is simple.
In a sit down conversation with Pierce a few weeks ago, he told me personally what his real reason is: "Guy, it's just my personal preference. I
personally prefer to keep it a regional beach."
His "personal preference," he
said. How about
the preference of his constituents? In a
poll we conducted a few weeks ago, 75%
of respondents said they disagree with Pierce's personal
preference. Why isn't he listening to
them? Why is he putting his own personal
preferences ahead of theirs?
When Pierce told me he prefers to keep the Glen Lake
waterfront a 'regional" beach, I was dumbfounded. Hell,
why not swing for the fences, Dave, and make it a
full-blown national park? I'm sure Goffstown
taxpayers can afford to support that as well,
Mr. Pierce apparently doesn't understand that when serving the Goffstown community who elected
him to represent their best interests, there's no room for
the indecision on Glen Lake?
uncertain about use of Glen Lake
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.
Copyrightę2010 Goffstown Residents Association. All Rights Reserved.