HomeOpinionLetter to the Editor: No Time for Apathy in Hopkinton

Letter to the Editor: No Time for Apathy in Hopkinton

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First off, I should get this out of the way: I am a registered Republican (insert gasp!).  I start with that because for years, I apathetically sat on the sidelines thinking that my opinion didn’t matter in this town and that the groupthink that circulates on Facebook and at town board meetings was insurmountable.  As I have watched the chaos in this great town unfold over the last year and as I have started to speak to more people, I am realizing that there are in fact many that are simply not satisfied with what is going on in Hopkinton.  Perhaps even a silent majority. 

We cannot be silent anymore.  It is time for those of us with different opinions to bring our voices forward and get involved.  Our town voting history shows the level of apathy our town has: just 12% (1,633) of 13,110 registered voters showed up in November for the biggest tax increase to impact residents in the last several decades.  This compares to state election turnout averages of more than 50%. This is not acceptable, especially since an unintended consequence of the outcome effectively voted groups of residents out of town. 

Urgently, we need people to become informed and demand accountability from our paid and elected town officials.  For many, it is the actions of these folks surrounding the handling of the Brennan case that are causing people to mobilize.  For others, it was the scandalous actions of the DTC chair and the school committee election that followed.  For me, it was when I realized last year the financial cliff the town was facing, and that living in Hopkinton may be untenable because of the tax burden. 

We need to voice our opinions and ask tough questions of why the town is headed in the wrong direction.  We need to expect credibility and have confidence that the best decisions are being made on behalf of our entire town and its residents.  I would love to see the Select Board and Town Manager do a 360º review of themselves, and to understand how they and others think things are going right now.  A few things that might be included:

  • We have town employees and Select Board members that have shown a recklessness that has not only been reprehensible towards individuals, it will also likely cost the town an incredible amount to rectify.
  • Nearly 65% of the town on well water, unable to access consistent clean water (a basic living necessity).
  • We are great at abandoning buildings without foresight and then asking taxpayers to shoulder the solution.
  • There is seemingly unfettered access to the residents’ checkbooks for schools and other capital projects.
  • We already had an alarmingly high police force turnover and now a legal and PR disaster that will likely cause good officers to leave.
  • We also have an alarmingly high town government employee turnover rate.
  • We have a warped sense of economic development to help ease tax burdens when a Domino’s is celebrated as a victory while acres of empty space sit on South Street.
  • We have a bike lane so big, unsafe and useless that there is a legitimate need to have signs that say “Motorized Vehicles Prohibited” along the entire length of it.

I could go on, but you get my point.  I urge everyone to become more informed and get involved.  Our town is being run by volunteers, and quite frankly, they need our help and involvement right now.  Involvement could be as simple as watching the town board and committee meetings on HCAM, attending in person, expressing your opinions, writing letters asking questions of our leaders, joining groups that are trying to impact change, or running for an office (especially if you can bring much needed diversity in thought).  We live in a beautiful town with lots to offer, but the tainting of the last couple of years is now showing.  It is up to all of us to get involved, even if it goes against groupthink.  With an upcoming town meeting, town election, and another $50 million capital request, let’s show that now is not the time for apathy in Hopkinton. It is time for ALL opinions to be heard.   

Respectfully,

Tracy Martellotta

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Tim Brennan NEEDS your support! #thankyoutim

    Please SHOW UP!
    @Hopkinton Town Hall
    Tomorrow, Thursday 2/8 @ 4pm

    The Selectboard will be deciding Tim’s fate @ 5pm.

    Your presence outside Town Hall will send a message that our town chooses the victim and her supporter, Sgt. Brennan, over a corrupt Chief of Police and Select Board.

    Please show up!

  2. Hopkinton sincerely needs residents to show up this year and vote in local elections to purge the town of the inept and corrupt leadership on the BOS. They are beyond incompetent. Thank you for the letter.

  3. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
    I really hope your words resonate and are the “wake up” call every one of us in Hopkinton needs!

    If all residents were aware of the upcoming impact that all of the chaos you brought forward will cause — and especially cost, all of us, they would be mobilized to (try to) be heard, or to get out of town.

    The turnover you shared is just a fact. Not up for debate. We are starting to appreciate the perspective of hindsight and understand why so many people chose to disengage themselves as quickly as possible from what’s to come.

    I hope your article mobilizes many people to take a closer look at our town’s direction and leadership. Unfortunately, conveying opinions to the Selectboard hasn’t been enough.

    Again, thank you for putting yourself out there and shedding much needed light to these important facts.

  4. Well said Tracy, change doesn’t come easy and certainly not without folks engaging and finding the time to work on moving our town forward!

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