To the Editor:
Recently we, the family of Carl Manning Widdiss, learned the town of Aquinnah had scheduled dedication of an ongoing affordable housing project.
A resident of the town inquired if we would be there as it was understood that there would be a ceremony that would provide for recognition of Carl and his service to the town. I had not been contacted, nor had anyone else in my family been notified, nor was our family involved in the planning or approval of this action. I was then forwarded a flier, which again had not been sent directly to anyone in the family, that stated “Please join us in celebrating (and naming) this development of four affordable apartments.” Curious words.
On Thursday, August 24th Carl’s brother Donald Widdiss, sister Dawn Widdiss, nephew Heath and wife Sheri Widdiss, and grandniece Josie Iadicicco (nephew Jason not able to attend) were present at the gathering at the site behind the Aquinnah firehouse. We found members of the town, housing officials and members of the tribe who it seemed were all well aware of the consideration for naming the road Carl Widdiss Way. The project includes four affordable apartments. A “ceremony” was held unveiling a street sign “Carl Widdiss Way” which indicated that much planning had to have been undergone to effect such fine signage. This was the first example the family had seen of this designation. We would have liked to have had input as to the actual design and execution as well as discussion of any other issues.
At some point someone should have asked if Carl’s family had been involved in the planning or been asked if we approved of his name being used. We understand that folks might be well intentioned and any oversight will be handed off as “miscommunication” by town officials.
We trust that in the future there will be ample consideration given to following the basics of public planning efforts. That’s the least that can be expected of the town or any associated project.
We have serious doubts that Carl would have approved how this dedication was handled.
For the family of Carl Manning Widdiss
Donald Widdiss, Dawn Widdiss, Heath Widdiss, Jason Widdiss, Josie Iadiccico