Letters To The Editor: Nov. 17, 2022

Letters to the editor.

Shame For Not Voting


So, the election is over, and maybe your candidates won or maybe they did not. Maybe the votes on the public questions went the way you had hoped, or maybe they did not. But if things didn't turn out as you had hoped and you didn't vote even though you could have, keep your mouth shut! Yes, you have the right of free speech and can legally voice your dissatisfaction, but if you could have voted and did not, you have forfeited your moral right to complain or even comment. And don't hide behind the idea that one vote wouldn't have made a difference. Every vote makes a difference, if only to let those who run for office know that there is at least one voice who agrees, or disagrees, with them. Again, if you could have voted and did not, hang your head in shame and keep quiet.

David McElroy
South Chatham


Airport And Quality Of Life


Three years ago in early November 2019, my family and I closed on our home and a 27-year dream to own a place on Cape Cod. Never once had our fantasy included a home in the highly sought-after Chatham area. The house not only gave us a safe, inviting neighborhood but easy access to bike trails, restaurants, shops and beaches. The additional bonus was watching the small aircraft float over our deck, “close enough to touch,” as my son would often say at age 9.

Today, my three children are ages 14, 11 and 4 and as a family, we have spent a lot of time, during all seasons, in our home over the last three years. What was a bonus to our experience at one time has now turned into a significant safety concern for our family. In the short three years, I have watched the aircraft flying overhead get louder, closer and much larger; to include jets with some frequency. Three years ago I could sit out on my deck with family and friends and watch in delight as a small aircraft floated overhead on both landing and takeoff. Today it is impossible to have a conversation on my deck while some of the aircraft are flying overhead. In several cases, the noise and proximity has startled younger children and guests.

I am extremely concerned about the increasing aircraft traffic and sizes of the planes. While I have been marginally involved following some of the latest CQX developments and concerns, it seems extremely clear in some of the latest articles and research that CQX is dangerously out of compliance.

As a taxpaying seasonal resident without voting rights in Chatham, I and my neighbors are frustrated that our concerns and legitimate complaints have been ignored. It is obvious the airport commission is quickly moving in a direction not desirable for our quintessential town while negatively affecting our quality of life and our environment.

Alex Capo
West Chatham and Burnt Hills, N.Y.


Happy America Recycles Week


America Recycles Day just celebrated its 25th anniversary on Nov. 15. Established in 1997 to focus on individual action, ARD promotes and celebrates the benefits of recycling what we use in our daily lives. Always subject to evolution, improvements and fluctuating markets, recycling remains an important piece in our efforts to protect our planet from unbridled trash, pollution and greenhouse gases. We know that plastic specifically is a huge problem in our world, and that its manufacture and overuse must be dramatically reduced. Government and industry must be pressured to address this problem. But we citizens need to up our game too by Reducing, Reusing, Refusing and recycling everything we can (first be sure it's recyclable!). When we do, we reduce waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserve natural resources, tap a domestic material source, reduce pollution, save energy, create jobs and save taxpayer money via recycling profits (currently rebounding significantly post-COVID). It’s easy, it works and it’s important. Non-recyclers create an average of 4.8 pounds of trash per day which will go to either an incinerator or a landfill, costing more and increasing pollution. Avid recyclers produce 1.12 pounds a day. Which do you want to be?

Paulette Fehlig, Judie Kent, Cece Motz, Jan Whittaker, Bob Staake
Chatham Recycles


Solar Extras Accrue To Airport


Response to Susan Wilcox’s letter in the Cape Cod Chronicle, Nov. 10, “Who Benefits From Solar Panels?”

Ms. Wilcox agrees with the Chatham Airport Commission’s actions to proactively study CQX’s present and future energy needs and complete a feasibility study to include a cost benefit analysis for installing solar energy panels. “Solar energy is good for the environment,” she wrote.

The letter expresses concerns over profits that could be realized if excess electrical energy is generated and sold to the power grid and how those profits would be distributed. Unrelated, the letter questions who earns lease payments from the airport’s restaurant.

Ms. Wilcox’s letter misquotes Chatham’s airport management service agreement (AMSA) by omitting critical sections. Paragraph 2.2 states that lease/rental monies on airport property of non-aviation related business or land use would be paid to the airport commission (this would include revenue from solar panels) and that lease payments for the restaurant are paid to the airport manager.

The Chatham Airport Commission is committed to safe and sustainable operations. Examining renewable energy options is one component of ensuring the airport’s infrastructure is prepared to meet present and future needs.

Huntley Harrison, chair
Chatham Airport Commission


Fair School Funding Formula


The Nov. 2 edition of The Chronicle had an interesting article by Tim Wood regarding the Chatham town budget. In the budget message from the town manager she noted, “strong and growing revenue, a ridiculously low tax rate and excess levy capacity to fund several departments.” Chatham has also benefited tremendously from the regional school agreement with Harwich, saving over $16 million dollars since 2011, while Harwich has had to pay over $34 million more than its assessment in 2011.

A fair funding formula that will guarantee the educational quality of the Monomoy Regional School District (MRSD) should be a discussion occurring now among Chatham elected leaders and the Harwich Selectmen. With Chatham having more than half of the total property wealth of Chatham and Harwich combined, and one-third of the total population of the two towns, is it fair that Chatham contributes only about one-quarter of the combined assessments for the school budget portion which funds the two (middle and high) regional schools?

Chatham has partially rectified the funding formula by assuming the expenses of its elementary school. Now is the time to establish a funding formula for the middle and high schools that take into account affordability and property valuation as significant factors, as other communities (Manchester By the Sea and Essex) in the Commonwealth have done with similar demographic and fiscal situations.

Working together with a sense of fairness in mind, the two towns can ensure the continued high quality education for our children for the long term.

Mark Kelleher
West Harwich


Make Turning Point Event


Great gratitude goes to Scott Hamilton for organizing the Nov. 9 celebration of the Mayflower “Turning Point” at Chatham Bars Inn. We listened to him read aloud the timeless story direct from William Bradford’s own journal capturing the vital decision to turn away from nasty shoals and the Pilgrim’s intended course southward to Hudson River and head northward for Provincetown’s safe harbor. There was a humble silence as we observed the Chatham coastline where this historic Turning Point took place 402 years ago.

Another “Turning Point” in America’s history was discussed. For more than 100 years the priceless Bradford journal disappeared and was not discovered until 1855 in the Bishop’s Library at Fulham Palace, London. After years of negotiations, this valuable primary source was returned to the State House Library, Boston, where it can now be read by the public.

Today, from sea to shining sea, Americans give gratitude for the peaceful years with the Native people, the Pilgrim’s courage, and their faith in the word of the Bible.

This began here with the Mayflower Compact, the first self-governing document written in the New World, and led to our free country.

We hope this Turning Point celebration is an annual event!

Marian Hannah Carlson