To the Editor,
I’ve noticed in discussions in town recently regarding the parking garage that some folks are trying to portray the vote last November as a close vote and, since it was such a close vote, that they are justified to use the court system to derail the development of the hotel and garage.
The ballot article received 56 percent of the vote. That’s a significant win. That’s not a close vote. In fact, in the last 20 years, only two gubernatorial candidates in Vermont have ever gotten more than 56 percent of the vote. The voters were solidly in support of the garage in November.
Another point that concerns me is when folks dismiss the public process that was used to review and discuss the project. There were 13 public meetings where the garage and hotel were discussed. This was not done in the dark and railroaded through.
When there is a public and lengthy process followed by a town vote in favor of the project and people dismiss all of it by publicly disparaging the process and then pursue legal action to undo the outcome, it erodes the public’s confidence in our local processes and institutions.
The small opposition group to the garage is trying to undermine our confidence in the Planning Commission, Design Review Board, City Council, and local elections. These established procedures are important to our community and it’s a shame to see them subverted.
Brian Murphy, Montpelier
This Letter to the Editor was featured in The Bridge.