Backs Moderator's Decisions
If the list of warrant articles to be voted on altogether is taken out of the very capable hands of the town moderator, by anyone, I will stand up and say no to each and every article.
Voters Listened To Debate
Thanks to all the voters at Chatham Town Meeting for participating in and listening to the long debates on two important subjects, Goose Pond Forest and Chatham Airport. I was impressed with the quality of debate over whether to use town-owned open space for affordable housing or preserve it. Most impressive was the gracious note struck by the chairman of the Chatham Open Space Committee when addressing disappointed voters.
Respectful of affordable housing proponents, the chairman acknowledged that proponents of open space were equally committed to affordable housing. He pointed to already developed land in or near Chatham's village centers that the town can acquire for affordable housing. Most voters on the losing end of the Goose Pond Forest vote came away from town meeting encouraged by his remarks.
Voters on the losing end of the airport vote left town meeting encouraged, too. One third of counted votes approved airport articles. Another 200 plus undecided voters abstained from voting. Less than half the voters at town meeting opposed airport articles.
Many Chatham residents have legitimate questions concerning the airport's impact on public safety, noise pollution, our natural environment and climate. No longer can they be ignored as a few unhappy residents living in or near the airport's flight path. They will be looking for planning and airport officials to strike a similar gracious note, respectful of voter's concerns, engaging in sincere talks, committed to responsible solutions.
Disappointed In Election Turnout
I am doubly ashamed of Chatham. First, as I discovered at town meeting, because Chatham has the worst record on the Cape for affordable housing. Second, as I just read in The Chronicle, because only 17 percent of Chatham registered voters bothered to vote in the recent election. This is a pathetic and shameful turnout. It was not an exciting election, but it did afford the opportunity to elect those who will lead our town. With the exception of those who could not vote due to travel, health or transportation issues, I would suggest that if you didn't vote, you have forfeited your right to complain when the select board takes an action you don't like. If you didn't vote, keep your mouth shut.
Pay Attention To Crosswalk
Several weeks ago, I stopped on Stepping Stones Road at the intersection of Crowell Road to allow a middle school student to cross. She then attempted to cross Crowell on the worn-out crosswalk. She actually had to dodge two cars which continued through the intersection without slowing down.
How could the town officials, the DPW, police, and middle school officials travel these streets every day, and not make sure that this dangerous intersection, used daily by children walking to and from the middle school, has freshly painted crosswalks? The present crosswalks are so worn as to be invisible!
I called the selectmen's office and told the story to the person who answered. I called the middle school and again told the story to the secretary, who said that she would pass it on. How long does it take the DPW to fix a dangerous area like this? Do you wait until a kid gets hit? Crowell Road recently had extensive repairs done, including new lines on the repaved surface. Why couldn't the repainting of the crosswalks have been included in that project? Does that make too much sense to the officials running the show?
And finally, I wonder why some middle school kids have to walk home in the first place, especially in these dangerous, crazy times? Is Chatham saving a few bucks on the tax rate?
Keep South Chatham Clean!
Kudos to the wonderful volunteers who came out Saturday for the South Chatham Village Association’s Beach Cleanup day. We were able to clean Forest Beach Road, Forest Beach Overlook, Forest Beach, Cockle Cove, and Pleasant Street Beach.
Beach cleanup day is always the Saturday before Memorial Day. Thank you for keeping South Chatham a special place to live!
Carol Gordon, president
South Chatham Village Association
Decision With Community In Mind
Yesterday I made several decisions to help guide my retirement future.
In December 2021 I purchased Cape Cod Colonial Tables with managing partners John and Kim Fullmer and their two children; another young family will "make it" on Cape Cod. I had been soliciting donations from Bob and Marcia Benson (previous owners) for the Center For Coastal Studies in Provincetown. I had been on their marine advisory board for more than 25 years.
Bob and Marcia were retiring and the lease for John and Kim was going to expire on Dec. 31, 2021. I suggested that I buy the business and utilize my marketing and sales to grow the business without an axe hanging over their heads. It was a leap of faith and my strong belief that a young family deserved to make a good living and educate their children in the Chatham/Harwich area.
Another decision was to cancel my subscription to the local Orleans paper founded by Malcolm Hobbs and his friend and editor, John Ullman. My parents had been good friends with Malcolm since we arrived in Brewster in the mid 1950s and I had lunch pretty much every day at the Land Ho! with them and my boss, Phil Deschamps. We had adjoining tables and I learned a lot by keeping my ears open.
I signed up for a subscription to The Cape Cod Chronicle; your paper and all aspects of your reporting remind me of the best days of Malcolm and John and their staff of reporters, many of whom are still very good friends.
Lastly, for now, Cape Cod Colonial Tables signed up as a major sponsor of the Cape Cod Fishermen's Alliance. My 50 plus year career at Nauset Marine allowed me to know the fishing industry and the "characters" involved. Nauset Marine continues to be a major sponsor as well.
Yesterday, all new signage went up at Cape Cod Colonial Tables, a new split rail fence is up, and landscaping is a work in progress and aimed for a "Grand Opening" for the community in late June or early July. We are very excited!
Cheers, and thank you for producing an awesome community paper.
Dawson L. Farber III
Retired CEO, Nauset Marine, Inc.
Drinking Problem Going Unaddressed
If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air and are looking for a place by the sea to get hammered without being arrested, then Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet is the place for you. C'mon down!
For years now the Wellfleet Select Board has refused to enforce the town bylaw and beach regulation that prohibits the consumption of alcohol on town property, at the town-controlled section of Cahoon Hollow Beach. Hence beachgoers can down all the alcohol they want there without being arrested if they don't create a disturbance.
But here's the rub, Cahoon Hollow Beach is now so infamous as a drinking and partying destination that town officials don't know how to put the drunken genie back in the bottle. Last year over July Fourth weekend, chartered buses from all over the state dropped off 4,500 beachgoers with their coolers (I wonder what was in them). And those drop-offs were in addition to limos, limo buses, cabs, ride shares and personal vehicles that dropped off there, along with those who park at that beach. Two years ago at a town committee meeting someone stated that the buses were a good thing because they kept all the drunks from driving home. Isn't that special?
Another plus for daily summer drop offs is that they don't have to pay a fee to use Cahoon Hollow Beach as a bar room for the day. It's a freebee!
At the opening of a recent virtual select board meeting to discuss the partying and drinking problem that continues to jet, a message was displayed that read: Houston We Have A Problem. Ya think?
Proud To Be A Chathamite
To all my neighbors:
A little over eight weeks ago, I was encouraged to run for the open seat on the select board. I believed my ideas to be relevant and important to the community at large.
Boy what an experience it has been! I had the pleasure of meeting many of you and got to listen to your ideas and concerns. It certainly has been a positive experience – even though the outcome wasn’t personally ideal.
My plan, if I had won, was to serve one term. I felt much could be achieved in three years and I wanted to encourage younger folks to run. We need your input and energy as we strive to keep our community as the magical place it is.
I would like to thank my fellow candidates for their commitment to the town. I would like to thank you all for consideration, whether you voted for me or not. I am proud to be your neighbor and I hope you feel the same!
Overwhelmed By Positive Support
To the residents of Harwich:
Thank you for electing me as your new town clerk. It is with great gratitude and pleasure that I take on this new role.
I want to extend a special thanks to the many folks in our community who helped get me to this point – those who placed yard signs, handed out flyers, hosted or attended meet and greets, talked with their neighbors and expanded networks, knocked on doors, and most importantly cast their vote on election day. The campaign felt like a whirlwind but many hands carried me along the way. I am overwhelmed by the positive and can-do attitude of our community.
Thank you for helping me make this incredible new journey possible. As your newly sworn in clerk, I look forward to serving all of our residents with passion, integrity, and determination in the years to come.
Honored To Continue To Serve Town
I would like to express my deep thanks to all Chatham voters who turned out on May 19 and voted. I am especially grateful to those citizens who voted to return me to the select board. Overall, there was a good turnout despite the nasty weather.
I would also like to acknowledge and to thank the efforts of Lynn Pleffner and Mike Schell who both ran excellent, energetic campaigns. I believe their efforts generated excitement around the election and were instrumental in driving overall turnout.
I am honored and humbled to serve our town for another three years.