Be True To Dover
April Newsletter- Volume 2
Town Meeting Tomorrow Night! Every Vote Counts!
Please remember to bring your Blue Books to Town Meeting.
This year the meeting will be conducted using electronic keypads for voting purposes.
This will speed up the process and allow a private vote rather than a standing vote.
The keypads will be issued for specific areas (i.e., auditorium, cafeteria or gym), and must be used in those areas in order to work. As registered voters check in to attend the meeting, they will be handed a “clicker” and told what room they will be in.
Microphones will be set up in the aisles of Mudge for questions. People will queue up this year.
The Town Clerk, Felicia Hoffman, would like to remind Dover registered voters that the order in which the articles will be taken up at Town Meeting on May 1 has changed. After Article 5, Town Meeting will take up Articles 12, and then 19-22, and then return to Article 6.
Although we will be discussing the Rail Trail articles earlier in the night it is still important to stay for the whole meeting. If you leave early your electronic keypad will have to be turned in. The results of any article can be RECONSIDERED by a motion to do so up until the end of the town meeting (including a second night if that occurs). Please do not leave the meeting early!
Why You Should Vote NO!
There is NO Final MBTA Lease being presented at Town Meeting!
The Board of Selectmen have NOT heard back from the MBTA.
You are going to be asked to give the Board of Selectmen the authority to sign a lease that you have never seen the terms for.
The "requested" terms that Town Counsel ASKED for, will be shared, but not the final terms of the lease!
The Town was promised Terms to Vote on in 2017- there are NO TERMS YET!
Vote YES on the Wildlife and Biodiversity Study!
This study WILL NOT HOLD UP the construction of the rail trail. The Town has a long list of items to explore during the Due Diligence phase of the project. This is one more item to add to that list.
After meeting with all pertinent committees in Town over the last few months it was determined that doing this study during the due diligence phase is best for all parties. Be True To Dover agrees. Members of the Conservation Commission and the Open Space Committee agree too.
The Town believes mapping ecosystems, taking inventory of wildlife, planning for habitat management and increasing biodiversity is important. The Master Plan of 2012 affirms this. The Town paid for this type of study for the 46 Springdale property. That study identified the railroad as a critical wildlife corridor.
The rail bed goes through conservation areas and therefore studying the impact before construction will save time and money later.
A. Eversource or another utility can lease the rail bed from the MBTA at ANY time. If Dover takes the MBTA lease, Eversource can STILL come in and sub-lease the land.
Luckily in Dover, the Eversource grid is well established and it is unlikely they will need to run lines through the center of town.
Q. I have heard that after Weston decided against a rail trail lease in 1997 that the electric company leased the rails and will pave them against Town wishes?
A. These are half-truths. In Weston, the electric company will develop a gravel path so that its trucks can get access to the transmission towers next to Weston rails. (Our rails do not have tall transmission towers, and the utility company has access easements regardless of any Town lease). Eversource has not been a bad guy to Weston and is not forcing a paved road. Instead, the Weston Rail Committee, in connection with a state agency, may recommend paving, because there is state funding to do that. Nothing is being forced on Weston. Its citizens remain divided on whether a rail trail is good for the town and fair to abutting property owners.
Be True To Dover Wants a Trail for Everyone!
To be clear...our supporters would like a flat ADA accessible trail in Dover. We should build a trail to meet this need but not on the rail bed.
At no point in this journey has another option been considered other than the rail bed. There are many unanswered questions about the rail bed development and the Town taking on huge liability. Other areas of town should be considered, other areas that we already own and have paid large sums of money for.
Although this trail has been pitched as a way to bring community together, the process up to this point has done nothing but divide the community.
Citizens are judgmental of others with different views and long term friendships have been impacted.
It is our hope that people in Dover realize that this is a trail....just a trail...and dividing our community over it, is not the kind of Dover we should strive for.