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In a recent issue of Deep River Town News, First Selectman Angus McDonald published an essay on change. It sounded to me like a warning that the kind of change he had in mind was both inevitable and incompatible with the small town culture we all value—as if town residents are clinging to nostalgic notion of Deep River that is standing in the way of progress.
I believe we need a different kind of change: in the way Town Hall conducts business. It’s time to stop the lack of transparency that favors inside interests, time to stop skirting ethical obligations and ignoring regulations and ordinances, time to get serious about a town government that serves the people of Deep River, not one that traffics in back-room deals and quick fixes.
Deep River is at a crossroads. We were fortunate to have had strong leadership from Dick Smith to guide us through a period of rapid change without losing the soul of our town. While Dick is gone, his style of personal leadership continues to be how Town Hall operates. This needs to stop. If not, our town is vulnerable to changes that will destroy rather than enhance its character. We need to be smarter about planning for a future that preserves what we value most about Deep River. We don’t have to give up what we have to move forward.
It’s time for Deep River government to change its ways. And it’s up to town residents to make it happen by showing up at town meetings, writing letters to the editor, and demanding what is best for our town. And, we must vote. If not, we may not like the change our current leadership has in mind. And we will be stuck with its consequences forever.
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