Letter To The Editor: Big Yellow Taxi


To the Editor,

While driving up 128 today I came over the hill and onto Cape Ann, and I was struck by the beauty.  I suddenly felt so fortunate to live in such an amazing place.  As fate would have it the Counting Crows cover of Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” came on the radio.  “EXACTLY!” I thought, “We need to keep this land pristine with plenty of space, and NOT over-developed.”

I am a New Englander, born and bred, and I have always admired MBTS.  A little over 20 years ago I finally had the resources to move here.  We bought an old house that needed a ton of work and we sank every penny into it.  It was worth it.  Or so we thought.  I am now starting to have my doubts.

I’ve never been involved in politics.  I dislike the scheming and the duplicity, so I refused to “play the game”.  Even at my corporate job I spoke my mind and just focused on getting the job done.  My moral compass steered me away from the office politics. 

However, things change.  Recently, a friend (another Manchester resident) recommended I watch a meeting of our Select Board on a Zoom call.  My eyes were opened and I was horrified.  I began watching more meetings such as the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals.  I now watch three or more MBTS meetings a week.  It’s an investment but one I’m now willing to make given the import of what’s being decided.  They are discussing changes to our long-standing Zoning Bylaws, and are considering handing out a variety of waivers to property developers such as SLV and others.  These waivers and Bylaw changes would have an injurious impact on our Conservation areas, on our properties, and on our town’s  infrastructure.  To anyone like me, who loves and admires what we have here in MBTS, I fervently ask you to please GET INVOLVED in our town’s politics.  Please tell your friends and neighbors to get involved.  Please begin to follow the town meetings online.  Please do it now before it’s too late.  Things are changing and, in my opinion, not for the better.  And on June 11 at 1 p.m., please vote!  In the words of Joni Mitchell, please don’t let them “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Karen Bennett


town meetings online, select board on a zoom, zoning board of appeals, planning board, cape ann