First, Article #4 is not about supporting Affordable Housing or not supporting it.

The “Trust” would be a small group of people making decisions about how to spend town money. This Trust would be outside of the town’s legal structure and would consequently be outside the usual decision making/spending procedures of the town (i.e., town meeting).

The town is being asked to give up some of its decision making process for spending money on affordable housing. That seems a pretty big thing to give up. Why would the town want to give this up, what benefit to the town compensates for this loss? I can’t think of any good reason or benefit.

The Warrant lists a couple supposed benefits. A “mechanism for housing funds from Town Center Development” and “flexibility and speed of acquisition decisions”. The “mechanism” is a non-reason that the people who would control the “Trust” wrote into the Developer’s agreement. For the agreement they could just as easily use the Community Preservation Fund or other already existing town housing board. And the benefit of the Trust’s “flexibility and speed”? Sure the Trust could be faster, but changing the nature of the town’s housing stock is not a stock car race or some such. The town being deliberate seems to be sensible when making these sort of decisions.

Another problem (for instance) – there are some town citizens near Dudley pond who are concerned about proposed town plans to put affordable housing in a town woods on Dudley Pond. It’s possible that the existence of this “Trust” might mean that those citizens wouldn’t have the opportunity to “state their case” to their friends and neighbors at a Town Meeting before the decision was made. Seems like this is a really big thing to give up. And for what? So a small group of people can have flexibility in spending the town’s money?

I don’t know, sounds dubious to me. Actually it’s these kind of things that make me “suspicious” of the motivations of our leadership.

Please vote “No”.

donBustin@verizon.net