As we ramp up to another busy summer here in the land of Bartholomew Gosnold, several issues and events sit piled up in my inbox which merit a mention. Some good, deserving the ‘ol thumbs up, and some not so much, earning a Troy's Take thumbs down. So here is my periodic desk cleaning look at several issues of interest to Falmouthites and visitors alike:
Thumbs up to the Falmouth School Committee for swiftly, efficiently and correctly appointing long-time on-deck hitter Marc Dupuis as the Superintendent of Schools. It is appropriate that Marc is a recreational boater, as he has been a steady force through some stormy times for the SS Falmouth Schools, and his calm demeanor and quiet leadership have enabled him to be a life raft of tranquility during some turbulent times. Marc, equipped with superlative financial skills, will be able to efficiently work the maze of requirements of federal stimulus funds while ensuring that those much-needed dollars have benefits in the classroom. He is the right man right now. Nice work, Chairman Jamie MacDonald, in conducting a fair and open process.
Thumbs up as well to the elected officials a couple of miles down Route 28 in Town Hall Square. Our Selectmen this week listened to their constituents who spoke loudly and without equivocation on the proposed privatization of the dump. In rejecting the notion that a private contractor could do a better job with one of the cornerstones of our local culture, the Selectmen proved the value of civic involvement. It's not often you see Joe Netto and Wendy Buessler on the same side of an issue, but it happened on this one. It was also nice to see Moderator Dave Vieira making a cameo at a meeting of our chief elected officials. His impassioned plea to keep the dump in public hands was a sincere and eloquent appeal. Thumbs up to you, Dave, for getting involved in this important issue.
As positive as this development was, I must offer a thumbs down to one participant in the process, Selectman Ahmed Mustafa, for his non-vote at the conclusion of this debate. As much as his practice of not voting was a head-scratcher when he was Chairman, it is even more so when he no longer holds the gavel. Abstaining on this very prominent issue was a very prominent cop-out. We expect more, Ahmed, and now is the time to give it to us.
Both thumbs are squarely in the up position for Jody Shaw of Ballymeade for having the persistence to yet again present plans for CLSV's 31 acres on Route 151. Chairman Pat Kerfoot and gadfly Rich Latimer have the chance to earn a thumbs up by actually listening to the plans for a much-needed senior care facility this time around and not dismissing another sincere attempt by Jody to meet a public need and make a profit (these are not mutually exclusive concepts).
An enthusiastic thumbs up is due to new Chamber Chief Jay Zavala and his team for a fantastic and fascinating Infomania event at magnificent Highfield Hall. This expo, which showcased things to do in Falmouth, from sailing cruises on Vineyard Sound, to massages on Dillingham Ave., was a great way to create a summer to-do list. Kudos also go out to Island Queen point person Todd Bidwell for hatching this idea a few years back and to Deb Rogers and Kevin Lynch at FCTV for sharing it with Channel 13's wider audience.
As we continue to soak in the results from last week's election, the two out of ten voters who participated deserve a thumbs up and get to give a civic pride thumbs down to the eighty percent who stayed home. Town Clerk Mike Palmer has created a well oiled machine that chugs along each election day. He and his staff in Town Hall and at each of our nine polling places, especially Assistant Town Clerk Laurie Clayton, are aces. Finally, Brian Dale and his crew, led by Parks Department guru Rocky Gomes, managed to wave a magic wand at the Library Lawn for Memorial Day. I've been to just about every ceremony in recent memory, and I can't remember the jewel of our downtown ever looking better. A green thumbs up to you!
The inbox is looking better, but not empty. That's the nature of our seaside hamlet - never a shortage of issues on which to opine. Feel free to share anytime.
This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Enterprise.