Lack of political leadership can often have unintended consequences. I think the most obvious is paying more later for something that could have been purchased at a bargain price. Often it is perceived that somehow the issue can be ignored and that resolution can be done later, “When we can afford it”.*
This, of course, is bogus and simple rationalizing to justify doing the right thing. Bureaucrats and Political leaders often do this because they simply don’t want to deal with it. It’s only when an emergency occurs or there is public outcry or someone has died or seriously been hurt; that everyone snaps out of their induced ‘daze’ and the fingers start pointing.
Political Leadership. It isn’t easy. It’s not business as usual. And, it takes a lot of energy.*
Thanks to the Open Space Committee and the Mayor not taking political leadership, a piece of crucial property that the city could have afforded; is now in private hands. The land was a linchpin for a wonderful network of nature trails stretching from Storey Avenue and extending down to Hale Street. It covers lands that is a crucial watershed/water supply area that if covered over by impervious surfaces could release devastating floods upon our industrial park and Quail Run neighborhoods if not having a far-reaching affect on the Common Pasture, the Great Marsh and our fishing industry/environment. The Planning Office was planning on promoting the Little River Trail System as an eco-tourism attraction.
But they didn’t purchase it. Jere Myette, who owns large sections of the Common Pasture agricultural lands did. He wants to use it for leverage against the city on some future ‘deal’ or if they are intransigent; to just sit on it. He and not the City is in the driver’s seat – which is why he walked away after shelling out $125,000 whistling as he walked to his car.
He probably thought that his little ‘signs’ wouldn’t be noticed until spring. Except it has been so warm out that people have been thoroughly enjoying taking their dogs on the trails and nature lovers have been thoroughly loving Norbyland (as I like to call it) that is until now. There I was in the forest encountering some very upset and bewildered dog owners and hikers.
It won’t be long. Mr. Myette figures the calls into the Mayor’s office will start to escalate and he can start ‘negotiating’. Unfortunately, from what I have been seeing lately, I’m afraid political leadership is rather lacking.
Cut off from the Little River Nature Trail and from the Crow Lane/Cooper North Trails
The city will have to purchase that land someday and it will be for far more than $125K.
But as Mr. Myette shrugged at the auction, “Or it will lay fallow.”
HE CAN AFFORD TO WAIT.
* A few notes of warning concerning the two school projects –They will never be again at this price and it will also take political leadership to impress this fact on the populace.