Eliminating campers isn’t ‘hurtful or hateful’
At Monday’s Fort Getty workshop, Paul Sprague reminded us that eliminating the RV campground wasn’t just about the fi- nancials. Doing so would displace a multigenerational summer community of families that think of the park as home.
I like Paul and think he courageously articulated his point. Paul didn’t say this or imply this, but my sense is that within the larger community, there is a sentiment beneath this argument that people who are advocating for eliminating the RV campground don’t like the RV campers and are being hurtful towards them.
I moved to Jamestown 2 1/2 years ago and rent my home. I’ll address what this may mean about how much legitimacy my voice has in Jamestown politics in a later letter. My point today is that my landlord is in the process of selling my home. I am very fortunate to live in a really beautiful spot. Given circumstances, I will have to move to a much less beautiful place once this property is sold.
I will be disappointed to have to leave this home. Obviously, we’re not multigenerational yet, but we have begun traditions with our families and for the holidays. I know our friends will miss visiting and spending time with us here.
At no point during the process of my landlord selling this property, however, have I thought that he doesn’t like me, wants to get rid of me, or is intentionally trying to hurt me. In fact, my landlord and I like each other very much and get along great. I’ve never even considered the idea that I would have a right to ask, tell or influence him about what he can and can’t do with his property.
What my landlord is doing is choosing to use property that he owns in a way that’s different than how it was used in the past – he’s selling it rather than owning it and renting it to me. When I have to leave, I’ll be grateful to have had the chance to live and create memories here, a little disappointed, not in the least offended, and know that my happiness in my future dwelling will depend on my faith, attitude and resourcefulness about creating new good times in a different place. Should any campers have to leave Fort Getty, their future happiness will depend on these same things.
I agree that we should consider the disruption of the Fort Getty camper community. I just don’t think that people who support the town exercising its property rights and making different choices about how it uses its property should be thought of or think of themselves as bad, hurtful or hateful. They’re not.