August 1st, 2013

A Purple Straw Hat

My Neighborhood

I used to live in Mayberry (<-- not its real name), NH, where we had exciting things happen like a guy dying surrounded by a bunch of drugs, and a woman who accused someone of rape but then it turns out maybe there was some paid for intimacy, or, as the case may be _not_ paid for intimacy, but you know. Whatever.

Now I live in Massachusetts. While my house is on the town sewer (was a criteria for buying), most of the big block I walk around many times a week is not. It is a candidate to be on the sewer, and many of the people on this long block expressed a desire to get in on this deal when it was being built in the early 2000s. But when the time came to then do it, many _other_ people on this long blocked expressed an absolute, unchangeable aversion to that sewer (combination of concerns about cost with a really strong aversion to any possibility of future development occurring. Preserving our something-or-other character. That type of thing.).

I believe I have good friends on both sides of this divide and I've discussed it with both sides civilly, but it is, to be blunt, a really huge social challenge. I had not realized just how huge a challenge until someone pointed me at video of a May 2013 Selectmen's meeting, in which Janet Adachi (who I quite like, based on seeing her in this video -- she asked great questions and seemed personable and detail oriented, which I really like in a Selectmen, and more generally) referred to this dispute as "It's like the Hatfields and the McCoys at some of those meetings".


Local politics are the _best_.
A Purple Straw Hat

A bit more about the controversy in my neighborhood

In the July meeting, Janet Adachi revisits the excitement of those meetings.


"There was a committee of neighbors who were on opposite sites ... I basically had to read them the riot act at one point..." She goes on to describe people being rude to each other and yelling and she had to calm things down to make the meetings tolerable and productive.

I didn't attend any of them. My daughter was quite small and we were very new to town.


It's amazing how the nature of the questions that different board members asks influences my sense of them as people. While I like Adachi and Green, and am largely neutral to some, there's one I _really_ don't like, and looking back at previous things I've read when I was tracking things like the day care controversy, I didn't like him back then, either. Go figure.