To the editor:
Secret fantasies: Everyone has them. I do, too — and now, after some soul scuffling, I've decided to share one.
I've thought it might feel wonderful to be a Rockport selectman; to have the privilege of listening to the many, diverse voices in our varied, colorful, innovative , traditional, hardworking, creative town; to be able to listen to competing points of view and respect a diverse scale of meanings; to then do whatever I could to support fair judgments for as close to the common good as can ever be realistically achieved.
After a luxuriating for awhile in a warm bath of fantasy, however, the cold water would start hardening into icy recognition. Would I really like to commit myself, year-round, to a relentless procession of every second Tuesday nights? Would I like to come out to meetings in February, in pitch darkness, skidding over ice patches?
What brings me to reveal my secret fantasy at this time is the wave of publicity that has surrounded the current Board of Selectmen for a moment of ugly infighting (with subsequent apology). What the Board of Selectmen has accomplished as a group, it seems to me, so far predominates, that I am saddened to think that the achievements may be trivialized by contrast.
This is a partial list of what these five selectmen have, as a group, accomplished.
They have kept the credit rating of the town in good shape in very troubled economic times.
They have meshed smoothly with their excellently chosen interim town administrator and our truly admirable present town administrator.
They have helped keep the momentum of our town as a tourist destination going.
They have signed on to supporting the maintenance of our hospital, Addison Gilbert in Gloucester.
They have encouraged a diversity of offerings at the senior center.
They are looking into the residential composition of Rockport, including its long-defunct tool company.
I'm sure I've missed a few accomplishments, but the point is, they haven't missed them.
The board is composed of diverse individuals with diverse backgrounds. I'm sure each member has some admirers and some detractors. There have, doubtless, been words exchanged and glares cast between members, but the fight to maintain the best possible town is one in which they have steadfastly continued ... and we are all winners.
So thanks to Mesdames Wilkinson, Fleming, Batistelli, Messieurs Jacques and Murphy. Your courage is making my fantasy come true, and the knowledge that you are willing to do it all over again is proof of that.
You took out the papers, you stepped up to the plate. I want to see you continue the road not taken by me, but one I cherish.