Letters To The Editor: Nov. 25, 2021

Letters to the editor.

Response To Airport Critic

Editor:

There is an amendment to the town’s charter before the charter review committee concerning the makeup and responsibilities of the Chatham Airport Commission. The proposer, David Bixby, claims this amendment is “For the town and airport commission to comply with federal and state laws and regulations and the town charter.” This statement, the core of the reasoning for the amendment, is false on its assertion. Neither the federal or state agencies charged with enforcing the laws alluded to agree; neither the Federal Aviation Administration or the Massachusetts Department of Transportation have ever voiced a concern or objection to the manner in which the airport commission manages and operates Chatham Municipal Airport. Mr. Bixby also makes a variety of assertions that are his opinions and not based on proven fact. Here is a fact: the airport commission has honored all of the commitments to the FAA, MassDOT, and to the town. He states that he seeks "to put an end to the contempt and hostility by the airport commission" and others toward the community at large. May I suggest that the supposed contempt and hostility is only being fomented and perpetuated by him and a small group of citizens.

Saying how the airport is run does not comply with state and federal laws is false, misleading and wrong.

Huntley Harrison, chair
Chatham Airport Commission

 

The Mountain Of Money

Editor:

Recently it was reported in The Chronicle that Chatham had a pool of funds available for general use.  Two thoughts: 

The sidewalks – For those who live here (or as in our case, used to) or who visit often, as we do, they are not only a disgrace, they are dangerous, especially to we older folk.

The bathroom next to the town offices – Equally disgraceful and an unfortunate sign to those who visit the town. Surely somehow they could be modernized and cleaned up.

Maybe some of this mountain could find its way to these places.

Andrew Workum
Tracy Wimberly
Perrysburg, Ohio

 

Lack Of Airport, Waterways Policies

Editor:

The Chatham Home Rule Charter empowers the select board to serve as the “chief policy making agency of the town.” The town website lists 20 policies the select board has promulgated under that authority, among them a six-page shark sighting and shark attack policy, a 5-page media relations policy, a 9-page vehicle use policy and even a three-page social media policy.

Yet, despite years of controversy surrounding two of the most important town infrastructures, the select board has not promulgated an airport policy and a waterways policy. It is certainly not for lack of available expertise to aid the board in creating those policies. Town counsel has been opining on airport legal issues for years, most recently on airport commission authority. As for a waterways policy, in 2018 the select board retained special counsel to, among other tasks, draft new waterways policies. Those policies have not yet been drafted.

The select board not only has charter authority and available legal expertise to promulgate an airport policy and a waterways policy, it has the responsibility to do so.

George Myers
Chatham and Venice Fla.

 

Charter Change An End Run

Editor:

Handing the duties of the airport commission to the select board is a bad idea promoted by a small group that has little community support. 

The board is overburdened as it is and does not have time for additional responsibilities.   

The airport commission has been responsive to the public and has truly bent over backwards to incorporate community input as the years of open meetings demonstrate. Efforts to change the town charter to allow the select board to manage the airport are an end run around the best practice in Massachusetts, which is to have a specialized airport commission separate from the select board.

Hart Fessenden
Chatham

 

Clarifying Dance Contest Results

Editor:

Jennifer Sexton-Riley did a lovely job capturing the story of my dance journey.

As has been my past experience with The Chronicle reporters, Jen quoted me accurately which I really appreciate and skillfully shaped a lengthy conversation to craft the article.

There is one clarification pertaining to the teaser line on the section front. I did not win the dance contest but did take first or second place in each of the individual heats I danced in.

Thanks for your interest in my journey.

Anne LeClaire
South Chatham

 

Disappointed In Housing Comments

Editor:

I was very disappointed to read the summary of key points on the proposal for Chloe's Path mixed housing at the recent Harwich Board of Selectmen's meeting, as summarized in The Chronicle. 

These are challenging times of financial stress, some due to COVID but mainly the ongoing issues of limited accessible and affordable housing especially for our fellow workers who are the glue of our community (teachers, municipal workers, hospitality, landscapers, small business owners and seniors and persons on fixed income, etc.). The comment by the chair of selectman, if quoted correctly in the paper, saying that “a building this size does not fit into the character of this community” is very disturbing, as it continues to leave so many of our Harwich community without stable housing. I appreciated the comments by Julie Kavanaugh saying that although the units would be sold, they would still probably too costly for a great number of persons from Harwich who need housing.  I am glad the consideration of who might qualify would be 70 percent of Harwich residents. I also suggest that potential renters be full time Harwich residents, not second-home owners.

Cynthia Bayerl
Harwich

 

Don't Do Away With Airport Com 

Editor:

I would like to strongly urge my fellow Chatham community members to support the airport commission in its work for the Chatham Airport. I strongly disagree with the efforts of some to make the select board serve as the airport commission. The select board is charged with the care of the entire community of Chatham and regularly and correctly relies on experts for things like the board of health, finance committee, etc. The airport is similarly an area where it helps to have dedicated public servants with expertise in the myriad of issues concerned with operating a safe airport that serves as a resource to the entire community.

It seems there is a small but vocal minority who are dedicated to using hysteria and theatrics to do everything they can to close the airport. As a Chatham homeowner and taxpayer, I feel the airport is an asset to the community, the same as the fish pier, Main Street, and the Chatham A’s. I suspect there would be an outcry if it were proposed to dissolve the board of health and dismiss its dedicated and qualified public servants, and similarly we should support the airport commission and thank the members who dedicate their time and expertise to maintain the Chatham Airport as a safe and modern asset to the entire community.

Ken Bacow
Chatham

 

Not Optimistic About The Future

Editor:

With the verdict in from the Kyle Rittenhouse case, it at least raises the question of why wasn't he at the minimum convicted of reckless endangerment? What will this mean down the road? It will most likely mean that there will now be more deadly confrontations of men carrying guns and shooting people under the guise of self- defense as it applied to the Rittenhouse case. Looking forward with the 2022 mid-term elections approaching, is there any reason this defense won't be used again when demonstrations take place, peaceful or not? I wouldn't bet against it.

Ed Fried
West Chatham

 

Airport A Valuable Asset

Editor:

We’ve owned a home in Chatham since 1998. Since then, we’ve taken visiting friends and family members to the airport to watch planes come and go. This has become a fun, free thing to do with all guests. We eat at Hangar B. Over the years we’ve attended open houses and airport movie nights. When riding on the bike path, we always stop to check out the airport activity. Visiting family members and friends have also taken advantage of the spectacular aerial tours available. A few have taken flying lessons over the years, and a few have some new dreams about their future. Pre-COVID, the airport was a hub of activity for people of all ages, from all walks of life.

Let’s bring the airport into the 21st century. This can only take place if people with aeronautical experience are sitting at the table. Changing governance would only add layers of new bureaucracy, and payroll, to the town of Chatham. 

I consider myself a member of the largely silent majority who consider the Chatham Airport a local gem. We want to see it thrive and grow long into the future! Let the airport commission continue to do its job!

Eric Schultz
North Chatham

 

Culture Committee Thanks 

Editor:

The Monomoy Regional High School Culture Committee would like to heartily thank the wonderful Chatham Candy Manor for their special Veterans Day donation of chocolates. The Manor helped us celebrate and honor the veterans on our staff and faculty!

Lisa Forte-Doyle
The Monomoy High School Culture Committee

Response To Airport Critic Editor: There is an amendment to the town’s charter
before the charter review committee concerning the makeup and responsibilities
of the Chatham Airport Commission. The proposer, David Bixby, claims this amendment
is “For the town and airport commission to comply with federal and state laws
and regulations and the town charter.” This statement, the core of the reasoning
for the amendment, is false on its assertion. Neither the federal or state
agencies charged with enforcing the laws alluded to agree; neither the Federal
Aviation Administration or the Massachusetts Department of Transportation have
ever voiced a concern or objection to the manner in which the airport commission
manages and operates Chatham Municipal Airport. Mr. Bixby also makes a variety
of assertions that are his opinions and not based on proven fact. Here is a
fact: the airport commission has honored all of the commitments to the FAA,
MassDOT, and to the town. He states that he seeks "to put an end to the contempt
and hostility by the airport commission" and others toward the community at
large. May I suggest that the supposed contempt and hostility is only being
fomented and perpetuated by him and a small group of citizens. Saying how the
airport is run does not comply with state and federal laws is false, misleading
and wrong. Huntley Harrison, chair Chatham Airport Commission The Mountain
Of money Editor: Recently it was reported in The Chronicle that Chatham had
a pool of funds available for general use. Two thoughts: The sidewalks – For
those who live here (or as in our case, used to) or who visit often, as we
do, they are not only a disgrace, they are dangerous, especially to we older
folk. The bathroom next to the town offices – Equally disgraceful and an unfortunate
sign to those who visit the town. Surely somehow they could be modernized and
cleaned up. Maybe some of this mountain could find its way to these places.
Andrew Workum Tracy Wimberly Perrysburg, Ohio Lack Of Airport, Waterways Policies
Editor: The Chatham Home Rule Charter empowers the select board to serve as
the “chief policy making agency of the town.” The town website lists 20 policies
the select board has promulgated under that authority, among them a six-page
shark sighting and shark attack policy, a 5-page media relations policy, a
9-page vehicle use policy and even a three-page social media policy. Yet, despite
years of controversy surrounding two of the most important town infrastructures,
the select board has not promulgated an airport policy and a waterways policy.
It is certainly not for lack of available expertise to aid the board in creating
those policies. Town counsel has been opining on airport legal issues for years,
most recently on airport commission authority. As for a waterways policy, in
2018 the select board retained special counsel to, among other tasks, draft
new waterways policies. Those policies have not yet been drafted. The select
board not only has charter authority and available legal expertise to promulgate
an airport policy and a waterways policy, it has the responsibility to do so.
  George Myers Chatham and Venice Fla. Charter Change An End Run Editor: Handing
the duties of the airport commission to the select board is a bad idea promoted
by a small group that has little community support.  The board is overburdened
as it is and does not have time for additional responsibilities.    The airport
commission has been responsive to the public and has truly bent over backwards
to incorporate community input as the years of open meetings demonstrate. Efforts
to change the town charter to allow the select board to manage the airport
are an end run around the best practice in Massachusetts, which is to have
a specialized airport commission separate from the select board. Hart Fessenden 
Chatham Clarifying Dance Contest Results Editor: Jennifer Sexton-Riley did
a lovely job capturing the story of my dance journey. As has been my past experience
with The Chronicle reporters, Jen quoted me accurately which I really appreciate
and skillfully shaped a lengthy conversation to craft the article. There is
one clarification pertaining to the teaser line on the section front. I did
not win the dance contest but did take first or second place in each of the
individual heats I danced in. Thanks for your interest in my journey. Anne
LeClaire South Chatham Disappointed In Housing Comments Editor: I was very
disappointed to read the summary of key points on the proposal for Chloe's
Path mixed housing at the recent Harwich Board of Selectmen's meeting, as summarized
in The Chronicle. These are challenging times of financial stress, some due
to COVID but mainly the ongoing issues of limited accessible and affordable
housing especially for our fellow workers who are the glue of our community
(teachers, municipal workers, hospitality, landscapers, small business owners
and seniors and persons on fixed income, etc.). The comment by the chair of
selectman, if quoted correctly in the paper, saying that “a building this size
does not fit into the character of this community” is very disturbing, as it
continues to leave so many of our Harwich community without stable housing.
I appreciated the comments by Julie Kavanaugh saying that although the units
would be sold, they would still probably too costly for a great number of persons
from Harwich who need housing. I am glad the consideration of who might qualify
would be 70 percent of Harwich residents. I also suggest that potential renters
be full time Harwich residents, not second-home owners. Cynthia Bayerl Harwich
Don't Do Away With Airport Com Editor: I would like to strongly urge my fellow
Chatham community members to support the airport commission in its work for
the Chatham Airport. I strongly disagree with the efforts of some to make the
select board serve as the airport commission. The select board is charged with
the care of the entire community of Chatham and regularly and correctly relies
on experts for things like the board of health, finance committee, etc. The
airport is similarly an area where it helps to have dedicated public servants
with expertise in the myriad of issues concerned with operating a safe airport
that serves as a resource to the entire community. It seems there is a small
but vocal minority who are dedicated to using hysteria and theatrics to do
everything they can to close the airport. As a Chatham homeowner and taxpayer,
I feel the airport is an asset to the community, the same as the fish pier,
Main Street, and the Chatham A’s. I suspect there would be an outcry if it
were proposed to dissolve the board of health and dismiss its dedicated and
qualified public servants, and similarly we should support the airport commission
and thank the members who dedicate their time and expertise to maintain the
Chatham Airport as a safe and modern asset to the entire community. Ken Bacow
Chatham Not Optimistic About The Future Editor: With the verdict in from the
Kyle Rittenhouse case, it at least raises the question of why wasn't he at
the minimum convicted of reckless endangerment? What will this mean down the
road? It will most likely mean that there will now be more deadly confrontations
of men carrying guns and shooting people under the guise of self- defense as
it applied to the Rittenhouse case. Looking forward with the 2022 mid-term
elections approaching, is there any reason this defense won't be used again
when demonstrations take place, peaceful or not? I wouldn't bet against it.
Ed Fried West Chatham Airport A Valuable Asset Editor: We’ve owned a home in
Chatham since 1998. Since then, we’ve taken visiting friends and family members
to the airport to watch planes come and go. This has become a fun, free thing
to do with all guests. We eat at Hangar B. Over the years we’ve attended open
houses and airport movie nights. When riding on the bike path, we always stop
to check out the airport activity. Visiting family members and friends have
also taken advantage of the spectacular aerial tours available. A few have
taken flying lessons over the years, and a few have some new dreams about their
future. Pre-COVID, the airport was a hub of activity for people of all ages,
from all walks of life. Let’s bring the airport into the 21st century. This
can only take place if people with aeronautical experience are sitting at the
table. Changing governance would only add layers of new bureaucracy, and payroll,
to the town of Chatham. I consider myself a member of the largely silent majority
who consider the Chatham Airport a local gem. We want to see it thrive and
grow long into the future! Let the airport commission continue to do its job!
Eric Schultz North Chatham Cultural Committee Thanks Editor: The Monomoy Regional
High School Culture Committee would like to heartily thank the wonderful Chatham
Candy Manor for their special Veterans Day donation of chocolates. The Manor
helped us celebrate and honor the veterans on our staff and faculty!! Lisa
Forte-Doyle The Monomoy High School Culture Committee