To the editor:
What is missing from the Shoreline Management Program discussion is the human element, the aspect most overlooked by the city council which has successfully divided the community as if shoreline owners are not members of the community.
Anyone who might have either participated in or simply observed the demonstration and subsequent council session on March 13 would have seen a governing group hardly taking notice that close to 300 mostly white-haired senior citizens had trudged down Winslow and up to city hall merely seeking attention to their concerns
Not only did some inexcusable technical error almost lose all the citizen group’s testimony, once the council finally settled in for a long evening discussion did any one of them even mention the demonstration or respect the depths of feelings the demonstrators brought with them. Not one of them peeked at the 1,071 signed petitions that lay right before them that addressed issues well beyond the casually disposed of “non-conforming” issue.
Respectfully, then, the council is clearly obligated to take the following steps and to take them quickly, lest whatever plan is finally adopted divides the community even more:
Recognize it has not adequately communicated its plans to the community, all of the community;
Revisit its treatment of those who tried and failed to get its attention on March 13;
Explain to each shoreline property owner how a plan will impact them individually; and state who will cover any costs for a property owner to meet plan requirements finally implemented.
Until those steps are taken, trust and confidence in local governance will be the victims, and the community will remain divided at great cost to all.