To the editor:
A few comments regarding “Let it go,” the Current’s Oct. 26 editorial urging the School Committee to give up the Coffin property and have the Select Board sell it.
First, reading between the lines, certainly part of the School Committee’s reticence is an uneasiness with the fact the Select Board doesn’t have a concrete plan for the Coffin property. For that matter, neither does the School Committee.
There is all sorts of fragmented talk in the board rooms, social media and the coffee shops — another elementary school, senior housing, parks, town/school offices, 18-22-year-old program, sell to finance infrastructure improvements, swing space, etc. — the list is almost endless. Some are worthy ideas; most will require millions of dollars in capital to come to fruition.
It’s time both boards get together and solicit community and neighborhood input for the Coffin property and come up with a long-term realistic plan.
While they are at it, get input for Eveleth and the property at Beacon and Green (under Park Department control as a bike park through 2027).
The goal should be a cohesive plan that satisfies community needs — be it open space, schools, senior housing, whatever. With three properties, most if not all of those needs can be met.
Once there is a plan, the landowners (e.g., taxpayers and voters) will likely feel more comfortable moving forward at Town Meeting.
Until then, there is no reason to expect the current stalemate to abate. Instead, we will get several more years of lost opportunity, which is a real shame.