Letter: Scout Cabin neighbor says they ‘won’t be fooled again’

To the Editor:

While we await the decision of Planning & Zoning on the scope of the special permit for the Scout’s annual tag sale, neighbors of the cabin can only hope the board adheres to the rule of law and is not moved by the emotionality so many Scout supporters have tried so hard to inject into the recent hearings in an effort to obfuscate the real issues.

None of the neighbors around the cabin has questioned the good deeds and other benefits of Scouting. Rather, we have focused on what is appropriate and lawful in our residential neighborhood. None of the proponents of the gigantic new cabin or intrusive tag sale that has outgrown the Scout property lives in our neighborhood so it’s easy to portray us as whiny and selfish.

Perhaps what is most troublesome is that the people who run the annual tag sale (not the Scouts themselves) have been more than happy to blatantly violate the scope of the permit issued in 1998 with impunity. They have taken the position that because those who live next to the cabin have tried to be good neighbors and have tolerated the eight weeks of cars parked on our lawns and sidewalks — which block the sight line and create dangers for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians — we should now just suck it up and accept the new Taj Mahal and pipe down about the many problems the tag sale causes.

Other organizations find many ways to raise money ( e.g., raffles and more traditional fund raising activities), but the people who run the annual tag sale are wedded to this medium as the only way they can survive. Perhaps the biggest issue we as neighbors will face is ensuring that this time around we will not sit idly by while the scope of the permit is violated.

Whatever little rapport with the Scout leaders we might have had is gone due to manner in they have jammed the new building and tag sale down our throats. We were outspent, outgunned, subject to a biased media, and did not have the endless parade of experts and Scout supporters at the hearings. One thing is certain, in the words of The Who — we won’t get fooled again. We will be there to ensure scrupulous adherence to whatever rules Planning & Zoning issues governing the annual tag sale.

Bill Perrone

The writer has signed the letter from himself and other un-named neighbors of the Scout Cabin.