Criticism of Town Staff and Volunteers is Cynical, Unwarranted


To the Editor,

In his letter to the Cricket of March 17, the snide remarks of Mr. Brown and his implied accusation of deceit and incompetence on the parts of our volunteer boards and Town Administrator is insulting to them.  His cynical focus misses important qualities of Town government, including many with financial consequences for residents as was pointedly mentioned by Gary Gilbert in his letter to the Cricket of March 24.

First, it disparages their accomplishments in managing Town direction-setting in an increasingly complicated regulatory environment.  The recent multi-board team effort to get all of us focused on the 40B issues and to coordinate a strong response to it is only one example of that. 

It also dismisses as incidental or even inconsequential their role in the management of the Town’s infrastructure and the enforcement of our own regulations.  Take a look at our bylaws, which touch not only on land use but how we set up governance.  That’s what the boards and committees do.

Finally, I find that complaints about flaws in meeting “process,” particularly those as vitriolic as Mr. Brown’s, keep us from even wanting to engage in policy debates because it seems a sham organized by public enemies.  That keeps us from the public dialogues that we need to have on issues central to our future as a town.  I think particularly about how criticism of process—last-minute, non-substantive edits of warrant articles for instance—has deprived us of the opportunity to have a large-scale discussion and vote on diversifying the types of housing we have.

I applaud Mr. Brown for wanting board notes but I would encourage him as well to attend board meetings.  Perhaps then he’d instead be able to send notes of appreciation for their work and directly comment on the substance of their deliberations.

Axel Magnuson


articles, belief, brown, cynicism, modernism, philosophy, gary gilbert, town administrator, axel magnuson, town government