Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Important Issues Decided at Special Town Meeting

What has many feet, numerous heads, and one voice? Town meeting! Yesterday I attended Special Town Meeting where several important issues were under debate. Wellfleet voted to harness wind power with its first wind turbine, to be placed behind the White Crest Beach parking lot, one of the windiest spots on the east coast. A request for an enormous sum of money was amended to provide a smaller amount instead for the eventual repair of Lieutenant Island Road. A meals tax of .75% passed to my regret, but a 2% increase in the hotel tax did not. Citizens embraced the transfer of town land for the eventual creation of a Care Campus, and a change in the demolition delay by-law to give the Historical Review Board more control following dramatic change to what used to be the “Spit and Chatter Club,” now Pearl Restaurant. There was lots of humor, which helped us remain seated for three hours. Dr. Prazak described the present Outer Cape Health building as being “like a pie, crumbling on the outside,” but "full of great ingredients” in a moving speech to urge support for the eventual creation of the Care Campus. When a Selectman urged a vote on a final issue so we could all go home, the town moderator scolded, “You don’t go home until I say you go home!” And finally, a member of the Historical Review Board described interaction with a young tourist, standing awestruck on Main Street, who told him, “You don’t realize what you have here! This is an original New England fishing village!” Citizens may not see “this beautiful, worn-out, funky town” the same way, he said in urging passage of the demolition delay by-law. I loved how Wellfleet was deescribed, and felt proud to participate in making choices for our "funky" old town.