Shouldn’t we be asked how we feel about a Town Hall lawn makeover?

An article in the “Banner” was the first this Wellfleet citizen heard of the plan to re-design Town Hall lawn. According to the story, something called the Wellfleet Arbor Committee, a private entity, took it upon itself to come up with the makeover, then brought it to the selectmen, who approved. A key point was that it would be funded privately. (Anything you don’t have to pay for must be good, right?) The article makes it sound like a fait accompli.

The plan involves chopping down the existing evergreens, creating a small terrace in the middle, including more seating. Part of the thinking is that the existing trees have grown to dominate the facade of the building. It might actually be a good plan, visually and functionally, but I find myself resisting it because it feels like it’s being foisted on us. This is one of the more prominent, iconic civic spaces and it seems to me that more than a handful of people should be in on the decision. Citizens should not be informed about it but asked: “Hey, fellow citizens, how do you feel about Town Hall lawn? Do you think it could use a remodel? How about this?” A model should be placed in a public place for consideration, then debated in an appropriate forum, such as town meeting.

How do we feel about the proposed plan? Who knows? We’ll never find out if we don’t have a public debate about it. Most of those quoted in the “Banner” article were opposed.

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