A good surprise

Sometimes it’s good to be wrong, especially when what you’re wrong about are people coming together to do the right thing.

Last week the Post urged the Board of Selectmen to listen to the will of the people by joining a lawsuit seeking to stop a cellular tower from being built on Valley Road. It was clear that action was warranted. Not only were town residents suing AT&T and Aquarion Water Company, but their elected representatives, State Sen. L. Scott Frantz and State Rep. Fred Camillo, had already shown they had their backs with statements of support.

And then when the Representative Town Meeting overwhelmingly voted to support the suit, albeit in an unofficial way, and urged the selectmen to do the same by signing on as plaintiffs, the message couldn’t have been clearer. The selectmen had to act and the Post said as much last week.

We just didn’t expect it to really happen.

Now while we could not be more pleased that the selectmen listened to their constituents and voted unanimously to join the suit, we have to admit we’re a bit surprised they did. Not because the selectmen were acting in bad faith or deliberately defying their constituents, but because they had received specific advice on the case and the minds of two of the three seemed so made up.

In our national discourse today we are so paralyzed that when someone actually changes their mind on something it’s akin to witnessing a miracle. And naturally we belittle that, calling it a “flip-flop” and furthering the trend of having two entrenched sides with neither making progress toward a compromise.

That’s not to say we should be more like certain politicians who take two sides on every issue depending on who they’re speaking to that day, but we should always have the ability to change our minds based on new information or a change in perspective. It’s a sign of maturity and real consideration of an issue that sometimes minds can change.

Paralysis in our thinking based on the idea that “I am right therefore you must be wrong” sometimes seeps into the local level, so it’s good to see a case where elected officials changed a stance on something to benefit their constituents and do the right thing. Let’s not discourage this. Let’s encourage rational thinking and consideration based on what is the right thing to do.

As of now we don’t know what exactly caused the Board of Selectmen to change its mind and join the suit. Selectman Drew Marzullo had twice tried and twice failed to change his colleagues’ minds, and First Selectman Peter Tesei and Selectman David Theis seemed pretty well set in their minds that joining the suit would be a mistake for the board. But then last week it was like someone flipped a switch and night became day.

Was it the RTM’s sense of the meeting resolution? The books of history in Greenwich are filled with sense of the meeting resolutions that went nowhere and were politely, and sometimes not so politely, ignored by the selectmen. Many of the members did make an excellent case about the possible impact this could have on town land rights, especially in this case where if Aquarion is found to have violated the deed, Greenwich could get back valuable waterfront property.

So perhaps those reasoned pleas made an impact. Or maybe it was a case of the selectmen recognizing a growing tide and deciding they had to act lest it overwhelm them.

We don’t know why they did it, we’re just glad they did it. This cell tower is a mistake. We don’t really need it . The selectmen did the right thing by acting and now we just have to hope the court does too.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress