The Town Manager Shuffle
To the editor:
Once again, the Outer Cape town manager shuffle occurs, this time in Truro [“Robert Wood and Truro Part Ways,” Sept. 3, page A4]. How could a select board choose someone for such a position without a socially distanced face-to-face meeting? Mr. Wood’s being unfamiliar with the Outer Cape, let alone never having set foot in Truro, should have been a point of discussion. A simple online search showed that he had his contract terminated in West Lake Hills and was involved in employment litigation in Flatonia.
The same search firm, Community Paradigm Associates, brought Provincetown Robin Craver, who resigned after six months. She also came with some baggage, having been bought out of her Charlton contract for almost $500,000.
These would have been red flags to any search committee. Do these boards, despite many talents, have enough experience in professional hiring to appropriately assess candidates? Given what I read about the Provincetown and Truro candidates, I would have suggested that the search firm dig deeper.
More important, these towns need to think differently about what is needed in a manager. Many candidates are simply recycled from one community to another, some for good reason.
Rather than exclusively looking for municipal experience, the boards might look for persons with translatable management and fiscal experience. Much about municipal issues can be learned and supplemented by the talented staff that each of these towns have on board. Perhaps that would improve, diversify, and increase the applicant pool, so that our towns can seek the best and brightest. It also might encourage administrators who can bring some other relevant experience and diversity of thought to the table.
Laura Logue Rood
A Small, Necessary Step
To the editor:
Over the next several weeks, voters on the Outer Cape will be asked to consider town meeting articles proposed by Sustainable Practices, an environmental advocacy group, which would make it illegal to sell noncarbonated, unflavored drinking water in single-use plastic bottles smaller than a gallon. This campaign is Cape-wide. The first vote is Saturday, Sept. 12, at Wellfleet’s town meeting.
Voting to support this ban is a small but necessary step we must take to combat the imminent threat of plastic pollution.
Plastic surrounds us, not just in our daily life but in the water we swim in and the food we eat.
Since the year 2000, we have created more plastic than was made in all the years before 2000 combined. The fossil fuel industry plans to increase plastic production by 40 percent over the next decade. This will be detrimental not only to sea life, seabirds, and mammals, but to the human race. We who created it must be the ones to stop it.
I am a member of the Provincetown Portuguese Festival Committee. Before we had to cancel our annual events due to Covid-19, we discussed banning single-use plastic water bottles and being the first festival in Provincetown to sell reusable water bottles that visitors could refill around town.
Organizers of tourist events on Cape Cod should follow suit, so we can begin to reclaim our planet and protect the home we all love so much. We have already banned single-use plastic bags and plastic straws. This does not seem too great a stretch.
We must act before it is too late. We will not have many more opportunities to reverse the devastation we have already caused to our planet.
Let’s make sure future generations of poets aren’t writing odes to a Cape Cod Bay trash island.
Celebrate With Caution
To the editor:
It’s time to recognize the successful efforts of many in Provincetown who kept Covid-19 in check.
First, the people who insisted on a mandatory mask policy. Even though the initial implementation was uneven, the mandatory zone that was eventually adopted and enforced was mostly a success.
Second, the vast majority of business owners, who embraced sane social distancing rules, re-imagined their business plans, and worked double-time to keep a diminished economy running.
Third, the town government (board of health, select board, staff, police, and volunteers) that adopted and enforced restrictions that kept people safe from the virus. We all miss our favorite events and celebrations, but we can take comfort in the fact that more of us will be around to enjoy them when they resume.
Finally, the full- and part-time residents, renters, and visitors who followed the rules and adjusted their plans to protect public health.
That’s the good news, but caution is in order. Provincetown has always welcomed all who enter, resulting in a vibrant economy of independent small businesses, massive creativity, and a safe haven for all who seek its embrace. But the future is uncertain, as many of those businesses survived this year on government aid that has dried up. There are some empty shops, and their number could grow, leading to cascading economic failure that will leave no one untouched. Closed businesses mean fewer jobs and less money in the local economy. Lower commercial property values means residential tax bills will be higher. Fewer tourists means fewer patrons of the galleries and entertainment venues.
Despite the romanticized notion of the “starving artist,” I don’t know of any who really want to live that reality.
We need a strategy for going into 2021 that will keep all our boats afloat until this storm passes.
David A. Colton
Get High or Hydrate?
To the editor:
As reported in this newspaper last week, it won’t be long before some pot shops open here in Wellfleet. At that point, they’ll be able to sell these popular brands of marijuana: 9 Pound Hammer, Northern Lights, AK-47, Cannatonic, Chemdawg, Amnesia, Permafrost, Death Star, Trainwreck, White Widow, and Green Crack. The list goes on and on.
But if Article 23 passes at Wellfleet’s annual town meeting on Sept. 12, it will be unlawful to sell noncarbonated, unflavored drinking water in single-use plastic bottles in the town of Wellfleet effective Sept. 1, 2021.
Anyone care to explain that contradiction?
Seems to me that a majority of those vacationing in Wellfleet would rather be hydrated than stoned.