To the Editor:
Though reasonable people can disagree on the CPA, I urge my Watertown neighbors to exercise their civic pride and vote “Yes” on Question 5. Let’s give CPA a try and see what we can accomplish together to better our community. We can withdraw from the program if the results aren’t satisfactory. Presently Watertown is at a critical juncture when the physical landscape of our community is changing drastically. A strategic investment in preservation and open space will help us pass on a more livable town to those who follow. The time of opportunity may have passed if we wait.
CPA provides for adequate community process, including Town Council votes, and there will be plenty of opportunity for debate and input. Those who will serve on the panel recommending projects are your neighbors, and will certainly be open to talking about your wants, needs and ideas. Undoubtedly they will consult with Town Officials and Staff as well in examining priorities. Finally, your elected Town Council will have right of approval on all projects. CPA is anything but a unaccountable trust fund for wastrels, as some have claimed.
But CPA or no, my most significant concern is for the ugly and ungracious tone that the debate over this question has taken. It is almost as if we are trying to match the incivility of the national campaign. Good people people have been attacked, have had their motives, their good sense and their actions questioned, often casually and without substantive proof. The trouble here is that, unlike the national races, we all have to live next to each other and make this town work after November 8. If this is the new face of politics in Watertown, I fear for our town and for our children who are witnessing a decidedly bad example of civic engagement.
Watertown, let’s pull together and drop the acrimonious and unproductive shouting match and let’s see what we can accomplish for our town. Vote Yes on Question 5.