|Freedom of Speech|
Norman Rockwell © 1943
Only took a year of negotiations. RMV Registrar Rachel Kaprielian stated repeatedly that the Mass Pike site was safe.
And, her job is safety. Cripes.
Well, the good news is that the RMV is now located in a place that has plenty of parking, and is convenient to all. At the former Senior Center in the old Train Station, the RMV is now full service, and will also handle road tests at the site. The road tests were previously held in Sturbridge during that Limbo period when the RMV was on the Pike.
This whole episode in Central Mass politics shows just what can be done to correct a wrong when people are loud enough, and persistent enough. The key to their success? The people refused to give up. They refused to accept something that was so obviously flawed. They saw that those in the know should have known better, and refused to give in. Those in charge repeatedly stated the original move was due to state budget woes, but their action was so severe, and so poorly thought out, that one would have a very hard time ever believing that that was really the reason.
Well, that is all old news, and the new, good news is that all those voices that rose up together in a chorus of defiance, and demanded action, were finally heard.
Can I get an "Amen"?
A little further northwest of Southbridge in Brimfield there are some voices rising up as well. The plan to put ten wind turbines with 250 foot towers with 250 foot blades on top of West Mountain in Brimfield has pulled the towns pigtails enough to get a major reaction from the people. Selectmen took a trip to Maine to check out another First Wind wind farm, and some were not too impressed by the noise the turbines made, or the "flicker effect" thrown over the country side. At a recent meeting in Brimfield attended by 250 people, the Board of Selectmen listened to the people, and voted unanimously not to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the town and First Wind. The memo was non-committal, and would have provided the town with $30,000 from First Wind for further research into the noise and other effects that were of a concern to the town. None the less, they said "No thank you".
What's next? No one has a clue, but the town has spoken. The people have spoken. Maybe First Wind will submit different plans.
So, here is todays lesson. The united, consistent voice of the people will be heard eventually. Don't ever forget that. If enough people feel the same way about an issue, then it can happen. Backing off, and lowering the volume of those voices will almost always insure that the opposite will occur.
When we hear of issues in town that cause concern, whether they be sidewalks, sewers, or intersections, if there are no united, consistent voices expressing concern, or need for change, then the other side has been handed a ticket for a free ride.
Take this lesson to heart. It will come in handy in so many different ways in the future if you learn it well now.