A few on our collective thumb
I have a pesky hangnail on my thumb. Every time I clip it or tear it off, it seems to come back. It isn't a major problem, but enough of an irritation that I pay attention to it, sometimes grumble at it with some colorful words of frustration, and just wish it would go away.
There are a few issues bouncing around town hall and its environs that are acting the same - pesky hangnails on our collective community thumb. It's time to solve them with some definitive action, or give them some colorful words of frustration as well, and just wish them away. We've got some major issues to address; these are just renting space in our heads.
Hangnail #1 - The Dump. Whatever happened to Ray Jack's declaration that this facility could make money "in a heartbeat?" I think that we may need an AED for this one if the heartbeat goes on much longer. Despite the entertainment value of the Carey Murphy vs. Mark Finneran donnybrook, the discussion at this week's Selectmen's meeting on the dump was more jibber-jabber at the executive level on a staff level problem. Carey Murphy was right. Let the professionals come up with a solution (other than the $2.50 per bag fee that the Town Meeting dumped) and come back for implementation. The existing tonnage permit is a gold mine. The acreage is screaming for solar panels. The lines are ludicrous. Somebody ask Ernie Santos to write a one-page plan and just do it. Countless hours of valuable time have now been spent on an issue that has led to nothing more than polarization and pontification, neither of which is creating any positive energy toward a solution.
Hangnail #2 - Odd Fellows Hall. It has been years since the town purchased this Town Hall Square edifice, and years that we have been asking, yearning even, for a plan. As best as I can tell, notwithstanding its historic value and great location, this building is a very expensive storage closet right now. I'd love to see a plan to make some affordable apartments - the location is accessible to transportation, shopping, government, and more. Maybe the building would be suitable for some rental office space where the town could create some cash flow - Sandwich is doing that with meeting space in their renovated Town Hall. Maybe it could be a museum of Falmouth history and a permanent depository for Bucky Fish's amazing collection of photographs. Whatever the future of this downtown landmark, please, if you are reading this and have a seat in the corner conference room, do something!
Hangnail #3 - Wind Opponents. For those who have opposed Cape Wind based on the assertion that it will impede views of the ocean and the horizon, has anyone complained that the new turbine which is finally whooshing around off of Brick Kiln Road somehow impedes the view of the wastewater treatment plant? It can be seen easily from some pretty high rent real estate in West Falmouth and continues to garner kudos and complements. The new MMR turbine looks majestic to me as well as I come in my neighborhood each day. They both act as sculptures on the sky - beautiful reminders of the preciousness of our resources and the need to have more.
Hangnail #4 - Election Signs. With just a couple of weeks left before the annual election, signs for the candidates, while not ubiquitous, are spotting the greening landscape with increasing regularity. While I love to see, as an observer and student of the political process, who is supporting who by the signs on their lawn or in their storefront window, what message am I to garner from a candidate's sign on a traffic island? What conclusion am I to draw from signs on a rotary? I know that my guilt runs deep on this one - I used to ride around with a few buddies (who will remain nameless but you know who you are), and plunk signs down just about anywhere they would fit. It didn't make a difference. Note to the candidates - signs don't vote. Take them off of public property and spend your time instead talking to us about the other hangnails and letting us know what your plan is.