Letter: Vote for an even better Barrington

Posted 6/10/21

To the editor:

Barrington is an amazing town. Our neighborhoods are filled with people who are passionate about the community; our schools, our shores, parks and fields, our library, the …

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Letter: Vote for an even better Barrington

Posted

To the editor:

Barrington is an amazing town. Our neighborhoods are filled with people who are passionate about the community; our schools, our shores, parks and fields, our library, the environment, and one another.

For some, this passion takes the form of civic engagement, and I’m writing now to encourage that to be the case for more people… specifically, to engage next Wednesday, June 16. Barrington has a unique, highly democratic way of establishing its budget for the year -- the Financial Town Meeting (FTM). At the FTM, all voters are given the opportunity to use their voices -- their votes -- to amend and set the financial priorities for the coming year.

The Committee on Appropriations (COA) is responsible for presenting a budget to the town’s voters at the FTM, which takes place this year at Barrington High School, on Wednesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. 

There are two motions that have been filed to which I’d like to draw your attention: replace the $500,000 in affordable housing that the COA removed from the budget, and $250,000 for the financing of land acquisition. If the Town will not be able to purchase the land in question, the motion will be withdrawn. Combined, these would be less than $50 per Barrington resident.

The cost to purchase a home in Barrington continues to rise rapidly. By most accounts, this is a great thing for Barrington homeowners. Our investments in the municipal operations and schools are being rewarded by increasing our property value. But, for the people who wish to join our amazing community, it is becoming increasingly prohibitive. Enabling a broader range of people to move to Barrington enriches our town and the lives of all who live here.

Barrington is also desperately in need of additional housing that is suitable for seniors. Many Barrington residents have been part of this community for years and would like to remain in town. They may want or need to downsize or move to a house that is better suited to their current living needs. The available real estate in town has little to offer them. The best way to control what is built in Barrington is for the town to acquire land, and partner with a developer to create the living spaces our community needs.

The Carmalite Monastery is for sale. It is a beautiful location with generations of history in our town. I have heard from many people across the political and economic spectrums that Barrington missed a tremendous opportunity in declining to purchase the former Zion property. We -- the residents of Barrington -- can use our voices to take action and not miss out on the opportunity to invest in a stronger community for our future.

Next Wednesday, vote yes on Affordable Housing, and if the opportunity remains, vote yes on land acquisition. Next Wednesday, we can vote to create an even better Barrington.

Jacob Brier

Barrington

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.