Straight Talk

HONEST talk about local issues!

Truth, Part II–The Public Hearing

hearing_impairedThe segments which were quoted in yesterday’s post might lead one to think that the proposal to convert the old Fire House to Workforce housing units was something worthy of further study.  The Selectmen had moved it forward by approving it for consideration at a future Town Meeting and the Salisbury Affordable Housing Commission (SAHC) was giving it what appeared to be consideration for possible further study.

A public hearing was held on September 8, 2011 in order to present the offer for purchase (Gallogly) and the proposal for conversion (Flint).  This was billed as a Special Meeting of the Board of Selectmen.  It convened at 7:30 PM and adjourned at 9:10 PM.  The large meeting room of the Town Hall was full that evening and it was a very good exchange of information and ideas.

The minutes of this hearing do contain some inaccuracies, however they are minor enough not to waste my time with.  From a personal perspective I must confess that I left this hearing with a certain amount of confidence that the proposal I was presenting had a healthy level of support and was something many believed was worthy of further consideration.  On the other hand I also left this hearing with the feeling that certain government officials were less than happy with my proposal (let alone my very existence) and were about to become aggressive in an effort to erase it from the face of the planet.

Here are two excerpts from the September 8 public hearing:

The purpose of the meeting was to conduct a Public Hearing to gather information concerning two proposals for the sale or other use of the old Fire House, located in the historic district in the center of Lakeville. The first is an offer to purchase put forth by Frank and Bonnie Gallogly. The second is a proposal to develop the building into affordable housing presented by Michael Flint. It was noted that this is the first of several steps that will be followed prior to bringing the question to a Town Meeting for a vote.

The Selectmen noted that the purpose of this meeting was to gather information to help generate a Call for a Town meeting. If there are alternative offers for the purchase or use of this building they could be presented verbally at the Town Meeting for consideration, but the proposals noted above are the only 2 that might be considered or voted on at the Town Meeting.

(Salisbury Board of Selectmen, Special Meeting/Public Hearing, 9/8/11, Minutes)

The one comfort which existed in my mind was the commitment of a Town Meeting where the democratic process would ensue and the citizens of the community would render a decision.  Later I would learn that this was a false sense of security considering that the ‘powers that be’ were about to launch a ‘campaign without boundaries’ and further renege on calling a Town Meeting.

There first and most obvious place to start with their deceptive plan was the SAHC, a puppet arm of the ‘good ole boys network’.

To be continued …

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