#LetterToTheEditor #YourVoice #SpotlightNews
As I read the opinion Jim Franco wrote about Save: Colonie A Partnership for Planning what struck me most profoundly was: “Why will they not answer our requests and questions directly? Why all the insult and subterfuge?”
I have been a member of Save for a little more than two years now. I joined Save motivated by treatment I received when I asked questions about a development going in my backyard, literally. The treatment was not pleasant.
I attended the Planning Board meeting for concept approval for the project in my backyard. I was one of those “neighbors” that was not sure when and where to speak my concerns. I’d moved back to Colonie to take care of my mother in the house where I grew up. I didn’t need to be taking on such endeavors, but I felt I must.
After the Planning Board meeting one of the original members of Save approached me and asked me to consider joining. The way I had been treated, the proposed project and, all the trees that had been removed from Maxwell Road made me believe I might have something to offer. I did not want to be a thorn in the side of this administration, I actually wanted to be a resource, to help find expertise to fill the gaps caused by budget constraints.
That development in my backyard, I did not want to see happen, but I recognized it’s exactly what should be developed. It’s in a densely developed area, with infrastructure reasonably close and on a main road. I’m also lucky that the developer recognizes how early inclusion of the surrounding neighborhood and ongoing communication can increase everyone’s satisfaction and make his job easier.
The sense of hostility from leaders in our town toward residents is not new and is, for me why I am still working with Save. It’s as if what we, the residents, might offer or have to say is just “so much work and out of the ordinary.” “Why don’t we just leave it to the authorities and stop bothering them.”
With 509 members on our Facebook, more joining daily and a list of members who prefer email to Facebook, the “handful” Jim Franco refers to is backed and supported by many in the community. Many who support us don’t have the time or don’t want to be put in the position of being publicly demeaned. They don’t want what’s happening and would like some say, as evidenced by the commentary and growth of membership.
At some point, if it were me, I would stop and think about why the Save movement is growing. If I were them I would think to myself, attacking them isn’t working, maybe I should try something different like, listen, open and continue dialog and get control of your public persona, angry and defensive makes people wonder. Development is hard enough, but when trust is lost, can you ever really get it back?
Just my humble resident opinion.