I’m Exhausted, But I’m Still Voting “NO!”
March 15, 2021
If you’re suffering from merger fatigue, so am I. This latest effort has lasted longer than World War II. A child born on June 6, 2012 – when early merger discussions began – is now nearly nine years old.
The merger process has bridged three presidencies – Obama’s, Trump’s and now Biden’s – and with the Special Tax Districts embedded in the plan to be voted on again on April 13, it could cover three more presidential terms. That’s insane.
I empathize with those who say, “I just want to throw in the towel and get it over with,” but then I remember when my knees were young and I was a hiker. I sometimes would encounter mud puddles at the beginning of a hike. I’d take my time, circumventing the puddle, keeping my feet dry.
Yet, others weren’t so careful; they’d plunge right in, submerging their boots in sock-drenching water.
I’d wonder why they were so careless … until I myself encountered another puddle at the end of my hike. Physically exhausted and mentally fatigued, I’d tell myself, “What the hell,” and stupidly slosh through.
Once on the other side, I regretted my choice. “Why didn’t I take the better way?”
When it comes to merger, there is a better way; it’s just been gathering dust in the Town offices for several years.
It was developed by a variety of Essex residents – the Essex Governance Group – who went beyond two-minute sound bites and came up with a forward-looking plan. At its heart was the concept of neighborhood assemblies that would become neighborhood voting districts. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Think about your own neighborhood. Before the pandemic, we’d wave at neighbors who drove by in cars, even if we didn’t know their names. Now, we encounter them on walks, learn their names and share our feelings.
We have conversations.We can continue down this path of having conversations in our larger community on April 13 by voting ‘No.” Remember though: Saying “No” to one thing means saying “Yes” to another. Let’s begin.
Bruce S. Post, a former Selectboard member, was chief of staff for 1980 presidential candidate U.S. Congressman John B. Anderson