Published: 6/15/2020 2:30:59 PM
In its June 8 editorial page, the Recorder has again shown a lack of balance in covering Heath’s affairs, days before an election. Half the page is devoted to a “My Turn” by Lisa Stowe about Heath Center and a letter from Bob Gruen that in effect questions the integrity of our Selectboard Chair Brian DeVriese, with respect to his position on using the former Heath School. Both directly or by implication see retaining ownership of the former school as threatening the future of Heath Center. Both are significantly flawed.
Lisa’s reminiscences are touching, but most of the events she fondly remembers no longer exist. Her memories can continue no matter what changes may occur in the usage of our town buildings.
My memory of Bob’s question about selling the school was that the “use” he referred to was a permanent use, such as moving the town offices to the school building. The Selectboard agreed to inform the Town Meeting before any permanent move, but, under two town counsel opinions, Town approval is not legally required. Given the complexity of selling a public building, it would be irresponsible to bar temporary uses and thereby deprive the town of potential revenue in the meantime.
I am unaware that the town offices have “slowly but surely moved,” as Bob asserts. Selectboard offices? Nope. Town coordinator? Nope. Town clerk? Nope. Tax collector? Nope. Finance Committee? Nope. Assessors? Board of Health? Planning Board? Nope, nope, and nope. Brian’s statement that “the Selectboard has not proposed moving all the municipal offices out of the Center” is accurate, and the “lack of openness” Bob Gruen asserts is a canard.
Times change. The illustration accompanying the Stowe article includes a view of Bob’s house. Which used to be a general store. Sometimes change improves.
Donald C. Freeman