Meeting on West River Project


Let's make this meeting a positive event

I received a call today from someone who found a nasty flier on their car at Tops. There are so many different items we are working on, but the topic of the flier (and like it or not, most of the conversation regarding town matters lately) was focused on one issue—the West River Project.

The attacks vary, but are usually outrageous

Like any issue, there are various opinions. Some who disagree with my position, however, have decided to be quite aggressive towards me. Like a drowning man reaching for reeds, a few troubled souls seem willing to say or do just about anything.

The attacks vary. They may claim that I either want millions of visitors to overtake the river or that I want to turn it into a desolate ruin. It all depends on the circumstances, like some fractal of illogical reasoning, repeating, twisting, and falling in on itself.

It's been said that building parks is "the work of angels," but I guess that assessment depends on your view of where they want to put the park.

But not everyone who disagrees with me is a bad person

I see now, more than ever, that some just have a legitimate different view. And some even have that view because they've been deliberately misled. For example, if you showed up at my house and said, "This crazy new supervisor wants millions of people to party in front of your home, and he wants to build cabins!" I'd ask for a sign too.

Last week I spoke at a church, and afterward some people came up to me and said, “Why would a nice guy like you want to put hotels on west river?” The answer, of course, is that I don’t want hotels on west river, or cabins, or food vendors, or anything of the sort. When I said this at the church, one woman I was speaking to looked at me and said with continued suspicion, “But this all really can’t be about a bike path? No one would be this mad about a bike path!”

Well, sadly, it's just about a bike path. At least for me it is. It's about a bike path on an underused and aging road. That's it. And even if I failed trying to make you laugh or get excited about the West River project, I won’t try to scare or mislead you—ever.

No matter what they announce, I will support

I have no idea what the state will announce at 6:00 at their Wednesday meeting at the library. I could guess, but I’ll be there to learn about the exact plans, just like the rest of us.

I did my best to advocate for the parkway removal, but I also fought to get the parking lots removed. I am content that I did my best to represent the town, and that my judgement on this issue will prove over time to be correct and justified. But I promise that I will support the state’s decision either way.

I will support the decision because I think the investment is too great to turn our back on. Because I think we need more forms of recreation on the river front. And because I trust the experts (some of whom live on Grand Island) who spent so much time—years in fact—examining the alternatives and preparing their plan. Enough tax payer money has been spent dragging this out. It's time to move on.

Please help me, help us, move on

Next week, help me me stop the hysteria, fear, and lies. Please come this coming Wednesday, the day after Election Day, at 6:00 PM, at the library, for a show of optimism and mutual respect. Enough endless discussions. Enough Facebook rants. Enough jumping through hoops--no matter what is announced.

If you come, please, please, do not yell. Do not shout at others who disagree with you. And do not respond in kind to any bullies who may try to disrupt the meeting. It's not worth lowering our standards. LIfe will move on either way. And there are more important issues to address.

It's time to show the world (and those who wish to continue to sow fear and discontent) that they are wasting their time. We are are a community full of good and decent people, people who may not always agree, but people who are committed to decorum, inclusiveness, and kindness.

Don't share, like, or post this; just come and smile

I won't ask you to share, like, or post this. And I want pay for an advertisement to rally you to my cause. But I will politely ask the following question:

"Will you come on Wednesday?"

Please do. Let's have fun. Let's prepare for what's next. And let's set an example for who we are and what we can be.

Thank you!

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has been so kind in recent weeks, including those who asked for signs to fight for the re-purposing of the parkway. I did not want a sign war. I think the absence of signs speaks for itself. But your support helped!