Letter: Missing the Forest for the Trees

To the Editor:

I no longer know which “Yes” or “No” vote I am supposed to make on May 18th. I am utterly confused. I was confused at the prior referendum and the one before (I am generally confused and also believe there are perhaps one too many referendums.)

Weeks ago, I had the thought: If I voted “Yes,” “Yes,” “Yes,” was I risking the lives of the individuals working in a Town Annex to some sort of a structurally unsound box, which may, at any moment, collapse based on the whims of a moderately heavy squirrel?

If I voted “No,” “Yes,” “Yes,” was I forcing my children to know sidewalks only in movies (“In many parts of this beautiful country, you were able to walk to places on foot. We moved to Weston to get away from that. To escape the sidewalks and the stop and chats.”) I was similarly confounded when I read a Selectman proclaim that an ATBM meeting attended by less than 2% of the town population was somehow akin to a good, old fashioned “New England democracy.” We, I think, can do better?

Pardon the pun, but I believe we are missing the forest for the trees in this discussion. The real problem here isn’t whether eviscerating a light bulb audit budget line item is akin to our victory at Concord. The real problem seems to be the way information is disseminated to the town.

I take full ownership of my own lack of knowledge here. I am guilty. I am a busy Weston resident with two kids, a demanding job, a semi mid-life crisis, a low interest rate mortgage for much more house than I could possibly need, and all of the things that come with this. I should and will be more involved in the events and people who shape this lovely town.

May I suggest, however, that those at the top of our town politics perhaps take a lesson from all of this, and meet the town residents where we are. Explain the budget. Explain it in terms that we can understand. Ahead of time. Come to where we are. There are about 5 places to go in this town. Pick one, order some pizzas, and give us some sort of state of the Town.

Have the R’s and the D’s tell us why they think these things are important or not and let us make up our own minds. Bring the process to the people. No doubt the Town Charter has some rules regarding pizza or how loud you can talk at Lachat as the sun sets, but there must be a better way to get information out to our very busy electorate then sending Zoom schedules. I cannot Zoom anymore. There are others like me. I assure you. We are legion.

If we want to do better together, as a town, then we must change the way information is relayed and the way we participate together, and understand each other. Without that, we’re just a bunch of people on Facebook with severe and strong opinions on dog parks.

I digress.

—  Daniel Gershburg

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