To the editor:
I’ve been a Warren resident for just over a year now, and having grown up in the East Bay, I knew Warren was a place I wanted to live. No other town in the state has the unique blend of opportunity, history, character and diversity that Warren offers.
Over the past year I’ve met many people who, like me, were drawn to Warren. Some have grown up in town and decided to stay, and others have chosen to settle here. I’ve done a lot of learning (and more importantly, listening) this last year. I’ve listened to people discuss both the challenges and successes that make Warren what it is today.
The most common theme that comes up in conversation is that we, as a town, lack direction, and some of our elected representatives on the Town Council miss the connection between what makes Warren unique and its positive economic development. Two hundred years ago Warren was one of the busiest and most economically successful whaling and shipwright towns on the East Coast. Today we seem to struggle for identity. Why is this?
Let’s chart a new course: one that reverses the trend of gradually transforming Warren into a town devoid of all that makes it shine, in favor of a direction that takes advantage of the very things which some seem only too eager to let go.
Are you frustrated with what too often seems to be business as usual? Do the delays and inaction on integral parts of our town’s development, like the Comprehensive Plan, the Waterfront Plan, Metacom corridor study and others frustrate you? Do you find yourself surprised when well-qualified people are passed over for Town boards in favor of established or connected appointees? Are you concerned that there seems to be little appreciation from some on the Council for the rather obvious link between the character, design and history of our town and economic development?
If you find yourself answering yes to one or more of these questions, it’s time to take a serious look at the candidates for Town Council this year. Lets keep the momentum we all felt at the Hope & Main meeting going and elect people to the Town Council who share the vision that Warren can continue to shine by embracing what makes our Town special: the diverse mix of people and businesses we have, our setting on the beautiful Warren River, our Town’s important history and architecture, and the invaluable open space that remains for use by all residents. These points shouldn’t be seen as separate, non-related issues — they form collectively a larger economic engine we can all use to grow.
All five seats on our Town Council are up for grabs, but that doesn’t mean you need to vote for five candidates. If you feel only several of the candidates fit the criteria you deem important – only vote for them.
Its time to stop moving from one “fire” to the next and chart a new course for Warren.
51 Broad St.
Mr. Thompson is a member of the Warren Voluntary Historic District Commission.