Once upon a time in our picture perfect little town there were two adjacent salt water ponds, connected at one small point but sharing the tidal nourishment and replenishment of Cape Cod Bay.
A long, long time ago, perhaps a hundred years, some undoubtedly good intentioned residents took it upon themselves to improve on what nature had created by altering the natural tidal cycle of the innermost of the two ponds.
Over the years this alteration has morphed into a cycle of tidal flow that Mother Nature would barely recognize; and the differentiation between the two ponds has become like night and day. In unaltered Little Harbor the views afforded to the abutters change with the tides and the seasons, a never-ending landscape of nature at its best sustained by its unfettered access to the sea.
Its neighbor, Inner Little Harbor gets periodic refreshment at the determination of its abutters along with some fresh water dilution from Richardson’s Brook; on the surface both Ponds seem to have much in common; below the surface Inner Little Harbor is a biological regression, a near wasteland traceable almost entirely to Cat Dam. This failed attempt to improve upon nature’s creation deserves to be called an act against the natural order of the earth, indeed, an act against nature.
Recently those who deemed themselves wiser than nature herself, were challenged by a self created circumstance which put them in conflict with the laws of the land regarding just how much tidal nourishment and replenishment best served the larger communities. This conflict split the immediate set of abutters and emboldened the surviving group to go on a power grab in town government that is just beginning to see its reign end.
Let’s not lose sight of the many times Americans have altered nature in the name of progress; not always for the best but not always for the worse. Hopefully this ratio has been improving as we learn more of the actual impact of our decisions and take better and better care of our precious environment.
These abutters, calling themselves the E-20 started with their core belief in property rights and went forward with an effort to prove that, once again, might makes right and how one achieves victory makes the trampled rights of others is of no consequence whatsoever.
Calling themselves the Environmental anything was the start of the sham and it only got worse. Examples, concrete and anecdotal, are available to anyone with an ongoing interest in what is happening to our once tranquil community.
The latest incident best represents the status quo. At last Thursday’s meeting of the Conservation Commission (ConCom), a totally compromised sham in its own right with half of its members being replaced with E-20 type people, Chairman Creighton and Acting Town Manager Milanoski bemoaned the magnitude of the funds the Town had spent on Cat Dam issues, enough, Commissioner Gillman stated, to pay for a teacher.
Where to begin; first, the town didn’t spend these monies; a majority of corrupted selectmen allowed the E-20 to shift the cost of the pursuit from their own personal coffers to that of all the taxpayers. This was a clever device but not quite clever enough to fool all of the taxpayers.
Second, the very town Commission, ConCom, that had been protecting the rest of us from the outrageous representations of the E-20 was eviscerated by these same selectmen and packed with the cronies of the E-20. Third, the momentum of perpetuating the sham has led to a town government that represents the interests of a handful of its citizens at the expense of reason and democracy.
Any opposition has been trampled, fired or worse. What remains is a mockery of representative government led by unqualified and compromised individuals who will only be cleansed by sunshine and the voting cycle and the years it will take to undo the mess created by a few and return us to the level of competence and credibility we once enjoyed.
It wasn’t ‘perfect’, never was, never will be; it was human beings trying to do their best for their neighbors and their town. What we have now unfolding, as you can watch your government continue to squander you tax dollars to benefit a handful of citizens, is not an act against nature, which started it all. What we see today is an unnatural act in its truest form.
As P. T. Barnum said, “you ca f— most of the people some of the time, and most of the people some of the time….”. Barnum was referring to fooling the people; I left it for you to fill in the blanks as I feel “fooling” is inadequate to fully describe what is being done to you by those you once thought you could trust.