Hearing from the Man (or Woman) on the Street

  "What do you think about what's going on in town?"

Just as George Orwell noted that "the great enemy of clear language is insincerity," the converse is true, that is, the great friend of clear language is sincerity. With that in mind, I've spent some time over the last few days and weeks talking to people on the street and on the computer about the goings on in Falmouth.  From friends to strangers in the grocery store, I've chatted it up with many folks from all walks of life, all villages (yes, even Woods Hole) and all political persuasions about the issues renting space in our heads.  Some provided unsolicited opinions.  Others, I simply asked, "What do you think about what's going on in town?" with no attempt to lead them to an answer.  Here's a sampling of what I heard:

"They should fire the whole School Building Committee and replace them with a committee of Eladio Gore (Building Commissioner), George Calise (Town Engineer), and Ray Jack (DPW Director)."  Hank from Falmouth

"Why is it that we hear about losing French in the Junior High, and teacher's aides, and never hear about reducing administration?" Jim from Teaticket

"I'm so glad to see an end to the cranberry wars."  Julie from West Falmouth

"The battle to save the river hasn't even begun." Billy from East Falmouth

"It's easy to get bogged down in stuff, I mean, bad stuff like the High School mess and drugs, and, you know, other stuff.  But look at how the kids did with Bye, Bye Birdie, and the art displays at the High School and stuff.  There are things to deal with today, but our kids will give us a great future."  Lindsay from Falmouth

"The high school renovation has kicked up some dust, but the main library redo seems  to be rolling along -  at least I haven't heard of any major gripes.  If the library is on track with its renovation, what are they doing right and why don't the highschool folks give them a jingle to see what gives?" Jack from West Falmouth

"My first thought when watching the presentation on the DPW improvement was 'there goes $30,000. down the drain.'  By the time they pull that report off the 'dusty shelf' (if ever) we will need to have an new one done.   Could we just get rid of this Board (Selectmen) and start all over again?" Paula from East Falmouth

"I can't wait to try out the Beach House's brunch!  I live close enough to walk there, but may not be able to walk home after the meal you described!" John from North Falmouth

"I have been muttering to myself for some time about this and other, less consequential but nonetheless disturbing, evidence of the Town's inability to exercise oversight and control costs. Keep up the good work!" Peter from North Falmouth

"What's going on in town? Huh!  I'll tell you what's going on - people like you that write all the time and stir up emotions and won't leave our leaders alone to govern, that's what's going on!"  Nancy from Hatchville

"It's about time we had someone like you that has the guts to say what we've been thinking for a long time." Mike from Falmouth

"You talk about who will inspire us.  Locally, I hope it's Brent Putnam."  Shirley from East Falmouth

"Ahmed (Mustafa) has common sense." Joe from Teaticket

"Woods Hole needs Catherine (Bumpus).  That's what I think.  Why don't you leave her alone!"  Missy from Woods Hole

"I don't care if it's $18.8 million or eight bucks.  I want to know what went wrong and nobody's telling me!"  Larry from East Falmouth

"How so many smart people can mess something up (High School renovation) so bad is, well, like a really bad world record or something." Seth from West Falmouth

"I think, despite the bad press, that we are a pretty well run town.  Our tax rate is low and we get good services.  That being said, I love the political discourse that we are able to have with things like yours." Bill from Falmouth Heights

"Between what I pay to keep going in my business, the cost of living here on the Cape, and the local fees going up and up, I don't know how a young family can make it here." Doug from Falmouth

"I worked for the School Department for thirty years, and even I'm skeptical of what's going on now." Mary from Falmouth

"I look at stuff like Falmouth Human Services and the Free Clinic, you don't see them publicized.  They are saving lives every day and deserve all the press, not some stupidity in government." Mike from East Falmouth

"I remember when my kids were in that school in the 70's when it had no walls and an open campus.  Falmouth High was a disaster then, and it's a disaster now." Millie from Waquoit

"You need to be careful, because what you say can have an impact on the public opinion." Karen from Falmouth

"We need a Mayor." Ed from Teaticket

It was a thoroughly enjoyable and eye-opening experience to spend time listening. If you'd like your voice to be heard, drop a note and be today's man or woman on the street!

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