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Selectmen must take lead on question of Devens’ fate

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An open letter to the Harvard Board of Selectmen,

First, allow me to offer my congratulations to Bill Marinelli on his re-election to the Board. As I think we can all agree, this election season has brought to the attention of all Harvard citizens — those living at Devens and those not — the importance of being involved in the democratic process. As has become abundantly clear, we are at a crossroads in the Devens disposition process, and as a town we cannot afford to make the wrong decision. To that end, I respectfully put to you the charge of leading the town to some kind of resolution between the conflicting outcomes of the town meeting vote and special ballot questions regarding Devens. These conflicting results suggest that many people went to the polls unsure of what they were voting for or what outcome the various votes would have. Now is the time for you, as our elected officials, to work to bring the town together — people are paying attention. They want to make the right decision. They want to be informed and are ready to take action now. This opportunity may not come again. If we fail to come together on the disposition question, it will divide our town in a way that will take years to repair. We must recognize our differences and work to define common ground so that we can move forward together on this question, as a town, with one voice. The town is looking to you, as a board, to re-frame the discussion, to help us understand the full range of options and the pros and cons of each, to present in public forums sufficient, understandable and objective information, and to then put the disposition questions back to the public. Help us come together on the Devens question to meet our common goals of protecting our town’s rural character and local schools while preserving and nurturing our volunteer form of government.

Respectfully submitted,

TIM CLARK

Harvard

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