Watch out for the creep. No, not the neighbor who doesn't wave when you walk by, and not the kid at the coffee shop counter who ignores you because he's writing the next great American novel. No, this creep is in Town Hall and coming to a Selectmen's meeting near you soon.
This creep is the ever-present creep of those hidden taxes called fees, and with the national and state governments in a cash crisis, look for the upcoming Selectmen's fee hearing to be a creep-fest indeed.
From visiting the beach to placing a dock in your own backyard, the cost of doing business and pleasure here in Falmouth is about to ramp up - never to ramp back down. The tough part to take is that the creep - the gradual but unabated rise in fees that, added to taxes that surely never go down, has become as common in our lives as the seasons. So during this, the season of ghouls, goblins, and creeps, call your Selectman and tell them you don't want any.
Speaking of creeps, if the one who keeps stealing political signs from all candidates is reading this column, please consider this note as validation of your juvenile thirst to be recognized and cut it out. Thanks.
And speaking of the election season, is anyone else amazed at the lack of activity and campaigning by most of the candidates for the Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket State Rep. seat? This seat in the Great and General Court of the Commonwealth, currently held by the retiring Eric Turkington, has not been vacant in 20 years, yet the post offices, mailboxes, and airwaves have been eerily empty. I know that the Island candidates may have forgotten that there is a mainland portion of the district, but here's hoping that some interest is shown in this most important race before the ballots are cast.
And as I clear my desk in this potpourri column, one more thought on last week's affordable housing fracas at the Selectmen's meeting. Can someone tell me just what it is that the Affordable Housing Committee has done to alienate Selectman Kevin Murphy? I know him to be a wise and fair man, but these folks are having as much trouble making headway with him as the independent cab drivers.
I need to offer a Troy's Take hello to a couple of convalescing loyal readers: Paul Dolan and our Recreation Director Helen Kennedy. Paul and Helen are both recovering from surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to you both.
This from the kudos where it is due department: The new sign in front of the Police Station looks fantastic. I remember the debate over placing the old one and haggling about the cost of having it lit at night, and this is a vast improvement. Well done, Chief Riello, Shardell Newton, and most of all, to creator Anne Downs.
I have received some great feedback on my recent column on Falmouth's upcoming massive wastewater project. The notes, calls and e-mails have varied from qualified support to unmitigated horror that any public project could actually cost a half a billion dollars. The theme, though, was consistent - please keep us informed. Will do. This dollarpallooza is going to be with us for a while and I'll keep in touch on it.
And finally, I had the pleasure of taking my nephews, Jack and Billy, to the annual Pumpkin Day at Bourne Farm. This annual family event is one of those uniquely Falmouth experiences that not only contributes to our local color, it is woven in the fabric of our community. We made sand art, searched through the patch for the great pumpkin, took a hayride, and enjoyed a burger in the beautiful sunshine. What a day. What a job by Katie Taylor and Denny Williams.
Next week, we'll take a look at the upcoming election. In the meantime, my desk is cleaned and I'm on the lookout for the creeps.
Troy B.G. Clarkson, a Falmouth resident for 35 years, served for 12 years on the Falmouth Board of Selectmen. He welcomes feedback at [email protected]m. This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Bulletin