Letter: 40 B Eaton Lakeview Project and the Candidate Forum

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Letter to the Editor:

I watched the Candidate Forum on RCTV between John Arena and Vanessa Alvarado. I was surprised by the harsh tone of the exchanges. I do not know which is the best way to address the fiscal crisis that the Town is experiencing. I do not know what the best path of economic development is and whether split tax rate is the answer. And neither do most of the residents I talked with. I do not know enough details about the recent volunteer resignations and do not feel that I can express an informed opinion about what transpired. And neither do most of the residents I have talked with.

What I do know a lot about is the large Chapter 40B Eaton-Lakeview development on my street. I was heartened to hear both candidates state that the development is too big for the neighborhood as currently proposed. I also appreciate that both candidates expressed support for the residents’ efforts to be part of the process and have their concerns heard.

However, I do feel that I need to correct the record regarding Mr. Arena’s involvement. John reached out early on to the residents. He shared his personal experience from the time when a 40B project came to his neighborhood. He has offered encouragement and advice on how to become part of the process and offer constructive alternatives. John has participated in multiple neighborhood meetings and is always available for a discussion. He was instrumental in giving the residents the opportunity to present in front of the Board of Selectmen. He has also worked hard towards finding a forum where residents can participate in discussions with the developer team. He proposed and championed the workshop idea that was endorsed by the development team at the first ZBA meeting.

John has been an effective liaison between the residents, town staff, and the development team. He is always thoughtful, respectful, civil, and a true gentleman. I am grateful that he has chosen to become involved in our town government and I sincerely hope that he will be re-elected for another term.

Very respectfully,
Paula Pelusi
Eaton Street
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