A Time for Change?


To the Editor,

“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” – United States Declaration of Independence.

Last week I learned that the leadership of my town had clandestinely sought to constrain my rights to voice my opinion on important matters that could permanently affect the Town of Manchester.  Adding further insult, and potentially defaming me amongst our citizens, communications from the town addressed to me and another citizen of Manchester last February, were sent to people who had volunteered to be part of the 40A (MBTA) Zoning review task force being assembled.  It is unclear how many people have seen this letter, but it is now in the public domain. 

The letter was addressed to me and copied to the Manchester Cricket but was never received by me.  It was from the Chair of the Planning Board, the Chair of the Selectmen, The Town Administrator, and the Interim Town Planner.  Upon review of the letter, I was shocked and disheartened. 

My opinions and concerns for the MBTA zoning impacts and the Commonwealth’s usurping of local rule of our town’s zoning were said to be wrong and characterized as “fear-mongering”.  In my review of the towns letter and my own February 7, 2023 letter to the editor, I see no factual errors for which I was chastised and I was certainly not “deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue” as fear mongering is defined by the Oxford dictionary.

My opinions and observations were offered to help make our citizens aware of a ground-shifting movement by the state to dictate how our town should be highly densified.  My words should have been “heard” by our town leadership and given due consideration just as the words of those who might favor the development mandates. 

I suggest the voters begin the process to replace our town leaders with public servants who wish to listen and serve the public in a transparent and open fashion and be willing to listen to all of the town's citizens. 

Jon Keefe


time for change, mike williams, ginny stikeman, manchester, planning board, commonwealth day, the town administrator, and the interim town planner