Westport 11/28

As I'm sure you've heard, the school board has put a referendum before us voters that, if it passes, would entail the installation of an outdoor generator at the school. This would allow the school to be used as an emergency shelter for the community in the event of another ice storm or some similar disaster. The project is estimated to cost around $500,000 total, with about $186,000 of that to be raised locally.

The school board will hold a public information meeting about the proposal on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the school library. The voting itself will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 22 from noon to 9 p.m. in the hallway outside the auditorium at the school, when we'll also elect a new board member to fill the vacant seat.

Obviously, this is an important decision for our community to make. If you're like me, you're probably a little torn about it. On the one hand, it's vital to have a safe place to go when emergencies happen. On the other hand, we all know how we feel about taxes! So we have to balance these two competing interests.

That's a decision we each have to make for ourselves. In the end, though, it's not the biggest choice we face in dealing with this matter. As always, a far more important choice is how we decide to talk to each other about it. To me, that's what really counts. Fair warning, and all that.

I have a correction to make about last week's column, in which I mentioned the ferry at Barber's Point that brought the body of John Brown across the lake. The ferry was powered not by horse (as I wrote) but by sail. I should know better than to rely on memory when writing these things. Fortunately, my neighbor Erwin Barber has a better memory and was able to correct me on it. Thanks, Erwin!

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