2009-08-13 / Letters to the Editor

What neighborhoods are next?

The last day on which a prospective Town Council candidate can file papers for election is only a few days away. At the Town Council’s last meeting on Aug. 4, there was a signifi- cant signal that most of the council will be retiring.

Their vote to start the legal meter running, and spend town resources to draft a historical district ordinance, bore no consideration for the taxpayers. This legislative trip will consume hundreds of hours of the time of the Planning Commission, town staff, and the council itself. It will take three months and at least two public hearings.

Is this what Jamestown taxpayers want?

The potential result of this effort is more regulations, another commission, more town employees, more legal expense, higher taxes and loss of freedom.

Is this what Jamestown taxpayers want?

The targets of the historic district effort are the owners of 40 houses in Shoreby Hill, who are far from certain they want more rules, regulation, expense and limits to their liberty.

Let us try to be compassionate and understand how our hardworking council came to its conclusion. Often, government takes a series of small innocuous steps, each one not worthy of serious discussion. However, the momentum created by these actions sometimes suggests a consensus (which turns out to be fictional). When the council agreed on July 6 to seek $18,350 of taxpayer money to study the 40 houses in Shoreby Hill, it seemed innocent, since this was not Jamestown tax money, but “other taxpayer money.” Now, with that study in process, the council’s logical action was to continue the steamroller.

If this big brother effort succeeds, what neighborhoods are next – Green Lane, Dumplings, West Ferry or even Clarke Street, Mr. President?
Nicholas Schaus

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