To the Editor:

A few weeks ago this newspaper exhorted the citizens to be more participative in town affairs. Well, I’m trying, and it’s been a real education.

The town makes it difficult to participate. The website is confusing. Contact information for many employees and appointees is missing or hard to find. The instructions for how to provide your views on issues are — wait, there are no instructions. For example it is not clear when public comment is allowed.

And questions from the public are never allowed. That’s right. We are not allowed to ask questions of our politically appointed representatives.

Take for example our Parks & Recreation Commission. In their Oct. 16 public meeting they only failed to cover one agenda item—Public Comment. Any NFL coach would have been impressed to see the chair run out the clock by talking about scheduling matters and dog excrement. No time for their neighbors to express their concerns on how Parks & Rec will be spending over $2.5 million to commercialize Pear Tree Point Beach.

The last 20 minutes were particularly impressive—I hope TV79 captured it all. The chair’s reference to the proceedings as “my meeting” particularly elicited some real time feedback from her neighbors.

This paper may be discouraged to hear that your survey on Pear Tree Point Beach is not relevant to the Parks & Rec Commission. Per the chair, only emails sent directly to the chair or the director are taken into account. Well, at least now we know.

And I am increasingly disappointed in how this newspaper conforms to the town hall party line and does little to perform the historic function of the Fourth Estate—hold power accountable. Could it be that editorial is held hostage to the advertising revenue from the town?

H P Boyle