To the editor:
I am a long-standing member of one of Westport’s most persistent special interest groups. We sit on town boards and committees, and most of those I have worked with over 25 years share my special interest. They, like me, want to help our town make decisions that serve to preserve the town we love. We want to help clean up the Westport River, support our schools so our kids have opportunities to be all they can and want to be, provide recreational opportunities for everyone in town, create opportunities for new and existing businesses, save our fragile landscape and natural resources and create affordable housing opportunities for young and old. In short, we want Westport to remain the special place it has always been and we want our kids to be able to live here if they choose. This is not a bad agenda. There are those who would have you believe that the likes of me are the devil. That’s a hard case to make, so they make stuff up as they go along.
Why do we make them so angry? I think I know. They want control, and they think they have all the answers. They don’t trust Town Meeting or Westport taxpayers to make the right decisions. When they want something to happen their way, too many people disagree. So, they meddle. They micromanage. They lie.
Claude Ledoux puts out so much misinformation that it’s hard to know where to begin in refuting it all. He portrays people like me as pushing a sewer agenda. I never served on the Water and Sewer Committee years ago. I voted against it at Town Meeting. I have never been in favor of sewering the town. What I am in favor of is identifying what’s polluting our river and doing something about it. We have a lot of options short of sewers, and it’s up Westport voters to decide.
Mr. Ledoux characterizes the Westport River Watershed Alliance as pushing programs through without the town having a say. How exactly does that work? I guess they haven’t asked permission to run their education programs in our schools. All that pesky water sampling they’ve done for free on the river for the past several decades certainly is a little presumptuous, but I guess you could say it was for the good of the river. Maybe Claude knows something we don’t know about what their actual intentions are. River Day probably has some underlying malicious intent, but I’m not smart enough to figure it out. Claude probably has an idea. I’ll ask him.
Apparently Mary Lou Daxland is still a member of the Community Preservation Committee. Who knew? She hasn’t attended a meeting since last year’s Town Meeting when the attack on CPA failed. I thought she had quit in a huff, just like Claude did. She showed up last week to vote against phase 2 of the Bread and Cheese Brook Study. Almost everything she says about CPA in her letter to the editor is incorrect. She describes Norton’s move to reduce their CPA surcharge. That’s a pretty good trick, since Norton has never adopted CPA. Maybe she lives in some parallel universe where the truth is what you want it to be.
Mr. Ledoux criticizes the CPC as being dominated by south end special interests. Five members live north of Old County Road, four live south of Old County Road. One south ender is Mary Lou Daxland, who never comes to meetings, and sides with Claude against CPA. She and Claude were very vocal in their efforts to abolish CPA in Westport. Claude, a south ender, used to sit on CPC, but when the move to abolish it failed, he quit.