An Open Letter To Our Town Council:

by Andrea Byrne

I’m adding my voice to those who want to see the trees at Longbrook Park preserved, and a new solution found for the tennis courts.  Repairing the many other courts in town seems like a good start.  Any inconvenience of transporting students engaged in competitive tennis tournaments to these other courts pales in comparison to what can be lost by the removal of healthy, old-growth trees.  The casual disregard for what those trees provide to wildlife, climate and the environment is disturbing.

I’m also disturbed at the idea of filling the former Center School property with high-density structures and high-density traffic.  With the growing number of children in the Historic District neighborhood, I would have preferred for them to have a school to attend together.  Absent that, I would like to see that property be open park space with a variety of seasonal uses, a place for both kids and adults to congregate.

When the school came down, there were many meetings at which residents were asked their opinions about what should go into that property.  None of those responses said, “We’d like to pack it with apartments, and maybe a couple hundred more cars on East Broadway.”

It has felt over these last seven years that neighbors who offered their thoughts in good faith, assuming that they’d be listened to, were actually given the same casual disregard as the trees in Longbrook Park.

I know there are different council members here now, and I don’t mean to tar you with the past.  I just want you to truly listen to and represent your constituents’ wants and needs.  Please take a moment to think how it would feel if this proposed plan was happening in your own neighborhood, because someday it might.

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