I was going to offer a list of the year's best and worst 2009 Town Hall moments this week, but since there is a meeting next week with the half a billion dollar wastewater plan on the agenda, items could be added to both lists. So stay tuned next week for a year- end look at the zenith and nadir of Falmouth politics and government.
So I will look forward a bit, and offer some thoughts, some soothsaying predictions, on the year ahead.
In January of the new year, the Town of Falmouth is hit by a monster snow storm. Due to budget cuts, the usual complement of plows is unable to keep our streets clear of snow and ice. As an alternative, Town Manager Bob Whritenour and the Selectmen take to the streets with their shovels, their differences disappearing among the falling flakes. Unfortunately, many sidewalks and byways go undisturbed, as the peace among board members is interrupted by a fracas between Putnam and Whritenour over who is the better shoveler. Months later, the debate continues.
On January 19, Falmouth joins every Massachusetts community other than Wrentham and Sandwich in electing Martha Coakley as Massachusetts' first female U.S. Senator. On a victory tour through Falmouth, the Senator-elect credits 92-year old stalwart Thelma Goldstein and her tireless door-to-door campaign with the local victory. Not a single voter in Precinct one casts a vote for Scott Brown. In a symbolic gesture, Libertarian candidate Joseph Kennedy garners 3,200 votes in Falmouth.
Weeks later, as the snow begins to thaw and the Patriots defeat the Saints in an improbable and historic Super Bowl where Wes Welker and Julian Edelman combine for five touchdowns by two men under six feet, the wastewater issue indeed heats up. Wastewater Superintendent Jerry Potamis, in an attempt to garner support for the fledgling plan, offers a 642 page narrative for citizens and public officials to help them understand the need for expanded wastewater systems and the associated expanded spending. As further proof that history indeed repeats itself, the Selectmen agree and support the initiative but dispense with the reading of the document.
Unable to contribute on the FHS hockey team, injured star defenseman Cody Murray finds a new love and sings the national anthem at each varsity hockey game. Realizing he has found his true love, he travels to Akron, OH to try out for the new season of American Idol and meets with unexpected success, reaching the final 8.
As spring arrives, Falmouthites turn their attention to the annual election, where incumbents Pat Flynn and Carey Murphy fend off a challenge from former Constable George Morse. Morse nearly drops out after rumors spread that he is responsible for numerous coffee cups with "you talk too much" written on the side that are found throughout Town Hall. Selectman Ahmed Mustafa is questioned about supplying Morse with the sharpie.
As the summer months bring warmth and an end to seasonal affective disorder in Town Hall, multiple arrests are made in Falmouth Heights, as 47 members of the Falmouth Heights Maravista Improvement Association try to form a human barricade and prevent 25,000 revelers from watching the July 4 fireworks display, claiming that many people in the Heights violates the U.S. Constitution. As the Police Station lockup cannot hold that many people, detainees are held in the gym at East Falmouth School. Bail is delayed when many Heights family members cannot find Davisville Road.
As the Fall Town Meeting arrives, controversy erupts when Town Moderator David Vieira sits behind the curtain on the stage and requests to be addressed as the "Great and Mighty OZ."
Finally, as the year draws to a close, a record breaking number of Falmouthites donate to the Enterprise Community Fund to benefit the Falmouth Service Center, once again demonstrating that no matter what happens during the year, our community always comes together when it matters. May your holidays be blessed.
This column is reprinted from the Falmouth Enterprise.