To the Editor:
Hopefully, for all concerned, this will be my final letter regarding the roundabout. (I hear those cheers.)
Three issues: First, to those who continue to say this is an Oak Bluffs issue only, I ask: Have you ever watched the ripples in a pond from a tossed stone? Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? And if there should be an emergency in your town, where mutual aid is asked for, do we say, “No, that’s their problem”? We’re not six islands floating independently, we are six towns on one Island. This project affects us all.
Second, placing the blame at the feet of the Edgartown and West Tisbury selectmen for the $34,000 in legal fees incurred regarding this project is very misplaced. It would have been very arrogant of these elected officials not to seek counsel and wouldn’t it have been better yet that the chosen counsel had informed their clients early on regarding what the Massachusetts DOT has the power to do and that is ignore us all, even the MVC, and proceed anyway. At $600 per hour, how many hours did it take to discover that tiny point, especially in the age of email, faxes, conference calling. And how many travel hours from Boston and for how many are included in $34,000? You hire counsel who is supposed to be expert in the field in which you’re seeking advice. If all elected officials had the integrity and mindfulness of their constituencies that Edgartown and West Tisbury officials have, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world? I applaud their efforts on behalf of us all.
Thirdly: Can we keep this simple? It’s meant to be. Either a yes (we do want the roundabout) or no (we do not want the roundabout). All the other options have been discussed and discussed and objected to by the designers and their studies. Let’s stay focused on where we are now, not the terrain already traveled. This is a non-binding vote — an example of democracy in action (finally). You must remember something about “of, by, and for the people.” Show the pushers of this project, who ignored petitions, public hearing testimony, letters, etc., so that they can unequivocally see your written opinion. This is your Island. You pay the freight. Please make the effort and vote.