Stafford Pond is in Tiverton, Tiverton people drink its water, and nobody has more to lose if this reservoir is harmed than residents of Tiverton.
Yet oddly, the state Department of Environmental Management seems to be doing its utmost to leave Tiverton out of the Stafford Pond decision-making loop.
When the DEM scheduled a series of fishing tourneys on the pond through the spring, summer and fall, Tiverton was neither asked to weigh in nor was it informed.
The Town Council was not consulted, nor was the Stone Bridge Water Department which manages this reservoir and might have wanted a say.
After all, these DEM-permitted tournaments open the reservoir to big powerful boats whose 200-horsepower engines dwarf the 10 horsepower limit that pond regulations stipulate (outboard motors of any size are a peculiar way to treat a little reservoir).
Recently, the DEM belatedly agreed to discuss the issue with some Tiverton officials. True to form, it held this meeting in Providence, not Tiverton, and the guest list excluded key players including the people who live by the pond, the state Department of Health and the public in general. This would be an invitation-only meeting, a DEM spokesman specified beforehand.
At the meeting, a DEM official remarked that this pond belongs to all in the state, not just Tiverton people, so Tiverton is out of line seeking special treatment.
This stance overlooks the fact that Stafford Pond is the only source of drinking water for many here.
Gasoline-powered motor boats — never mind full-blown fishing tournaments — do not belong on reservoirs.