, Salem, MA

November 21, 2013

Letter: 'Disheartened' by Hamilton officials

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The results of the Nov. 4 Hamilton Special Town Meeting (”Pool project fails by two votes,” Nov. 5) reminded me again that every vote counts. I did not go, and if three others had felt the same way and stayed home, the article on the pool would still be alive.

I did not attend for several reasons, but mainly, because I am so disheartened by our town officials. After decades of night town meetings, we voted to change to Saturday daytime meetings so that those who had difficulties such as poor night vision could attend town meetings. In spite of this, the selectmen continue to set up “special” town meetings at night because, they say, the change impacts only the annual meeting. This was the second “special” town meeting this year. Even the director of the COA could not help organize rides to get senior citizens to the meeting. It is interesting that the town officials want a handicapped-accessible pool while assuring that those who have disabilities cannot participate in the process of town meetings.

I wonder what the vision is for this town. Officials seem to be pursuing wants/desires rather than needs. The desire for an unnecessary fancy pool ranks higher with them than the need for decent handicapped-accessible and affordable housing for the elderly. Check out Railroad Avenue housing: the only affordable place in town.

Why would we want to tie up CPA funds for 20 years, and what is the final price, including interest, of the pool? We will have to increase taxes for those basic and necessary projects that could have been covered by CPA funds. After two big pie-in-the-sky losses, I hope the selectmen will become more serious in their pursuit of stabilization and appropriate growth of our community.

For humorous relief, just turn to Wenham. It was a good laugh to see the “Vote Yes for Pool” signs on Wenham lawns. Did they really believe we would buy them a pool? They need to keep the signs and get their officials to agree to build a pool in Wenham. Build it, and Hamiltonians will come.

Elizabeth Dunbar

South Hamilton