It's been awhile since I felt motivated, or more accurately, irritated enough to the point of feeling the need to express my personal opinion on a town-wide subject. Several years in fact, not since the abominable tree-cutting project around the Harriman-West Airport. There are certain obvious pararells that could be made between that project and the current idea being proposed to use a portion of the Lowry property for affordable housing, but for now, I'll limit my comments to the current issue.
My only source of information regarding this not-so-surprising controversy has been gleaned from articles and Letters to the Editor published in The Advocate and Berkshire Eagle. I always find the LTE's to be more informative as to the "real" tone of an issue and, in this case, as in so many others involving the "Village Beautiful" over the years, it appears to me as clear as day that, once again, the "haves" and "have not's" are locked in battle.
Historically, those less fortunate souls that inhabit this lovely town don't have the greatest track record of being victorious against the formidable foes of wealth and power. However, it is my hope that this time they will somehow beat the odds and one third of the Lowry property will be developed for desperately needed affordable housing.
Bravo to Peter Folin for "suggesting that maybe we could spare 10 (acres) for our most endangered species: Human Beings.
The former Spruces will go to good use. All these issues are just red herrings hiding the truth behind a veil of the selfish concerns of a few.
Please, spare me your tears; I'll save mine for the folks who lost everything in a flood.
This is an incredible opportunity to finally do something significant for some of our less affluent Williamstown residents who had the misfortune of being on the losing end of a hundred year storm. This project will not only help those who need it now, but others will surely benefit from it well into the future. Careful use of the monies provided through the Hazard Mitigation Grant combined with a sensible plan developed with the cooperation of all those involved will most certainly result in a positive outcome. There has never been a better chance for the Townspeople to show that they believe in the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Please attend the Special Town Meeting on April 24, make a little effort that will mean a lot to many. Proudly raise your hand to support the warrant article transferring the "care, custody and control of a portion of the Lowry property" to the Board of Selectmen for the restricted purpose of developing affordable housing. So, on that note, I'll answer the question that I posed at the beginning of this letter: Now would be a good time.
Raymond P. Bergmann