Milton can do so much better

June 1, 2014

In our diamond-in-the-rough little Town of Milton we seem to get to a point with our mayors and councils when they suddenly forget about the people they were elected to serve. Pretty damning observation, eh?

A lengthy process regarding chain-link fencing ended just short of the finish line at the May 22 council meeting. A mayor and council who could have found a better way hardly even looked for it! In fact, they bypassed a means of communicating one last time with a contractor who had been engaged to install an industrial product - we are talking fencing here, folks --and in three locations in our town.

And even if what was an admittedly last-ditch-effort had failed, we, all of us and all of united, could have said, "We tried!" On the fence locations, one is at a gateway access to Milton and another is right in Milton's showcase front yard where the wonderful summer concerts and other major events are held! The whole fiasco begs the scolding, "Milton, you could have done so much better!"

And what was the upshot? It amounts to this: on yet another occasion, the public is scolded for not speaking out sooner; not speaking out in large enough numbers; not getting enough signatures on petitions and finally, not tying themselves to the Town Hall columns in protest and calling in the press for that matter (this may happen next go-round!). And what looms large on Milton's horizon?

Get yourselves to the comprehensive planning review meetings, Miltonians. I hear tell that Elizabethtown, in all its potential Milton-eclispsing glory, could be coming back strong. And no matter where you sit on this or any issue facing Milton, get ye to the meetings! Sad to say, now that the fence issue is dead, dead, dead, it won't be long before a next such debacle comes our way - how the wastewater plant is dealt with for one - unless of course, real change with this mayor's and council's thinking soon transpires.

Before leaving what has come to be known as 'the fence issue," might we ask ourselves, "What can we learn from this episode?" We saw a mayor and council lacking in creativity and settling for less (selling the town short!). We watched as they chose fencing that will stand for perhaps 50 years that is plainly not as attractive or offering as much security as another fence type.

The other might have cost more, but by choice would have clearly shown that mayor and council believe Milton is worth it! In other words, keep selling yourself short, Milton, and don't be surprised when your town in fact, comes up short and in, oh, so many ways.

Finally, our mayor first and foremost, failed to cross the finish line on this issue and despite having the power to exhaust all options. As many know, when the going gets tough, the tough don't fail to lead; no, they utilize every tool available to them to go the distance.

This did not happen at Thursday night's council meeting. In fact, the mayor hid behind her council, threw up her hands and in a manner of speaking exclaimed, "Oh, my, what can I do with this council and the way they vote?!"

Promised transparency and promises for good governance have to the contrary, landed Milton right back at the low points of past administrations, sad to say.

Take out the earplugs! Listen to the people! There's nothing wrong in Milton short of the mayor and council having suddenly gone deef! Chain-link fencing, my arse! And one more time, get ye to the meetings, Milton. Numbers count and especially on election day, so step forward citizens, those of you who will swear an oath to listen and lead. And woe to those who thought vigilance was a thing in Milton's past. Oh, Milton, Milton, Milton, we must do so much better!

Jeff Dailey

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