2012-02-10 / Letters

Positive governance

To the editor:

The proposal to table the decision of whether the Brunswick Town Council should send a letter to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority ( NNEPRA) requesting that they build the train maintenance facility in accordance with Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Brunswick’s own town ordinances led to a very stimulating and spirited discussion.

The decision to table the request was a wise one and showed very positive governance by the council. This will allow the council and the residents of Brunswick to step back and reflect on all of the information that was brought up.

My fear is that during this waiting period, people on opposing sides of the debate will only get more entrenched in their own personal beliefs. This includes me.

To help me frame this debate from a different perspective, I took the specifics out of the picture and stepped back into the realm of generalities. I erased NNEPRA, the train facility and all the rest of the pieces from the picture.

What remained after I put the erasure down were two philosophical questions. When a new industrial facility is going to cohabitate with a residential neighborhood should the Town Council take an active role in pursuing standards for the redevelopment of the neighborhood or should the incoming facility be relied on to decide how they will handle their impact on the neighborhood?

To boil it down even further: How involved should the Town Council be in matters of neighborhood advocacy?

By answering these questions, the Town Council can establish guiding principles to use when future occurrences of residential and industrial interests collide.

DeWitt Kimball,


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