We then attempted to explain to the mayor that one thing we had learned when serving as co-chair for the 1986 Cooperstown Bicentennial was that when planning events there are organic events and there are synthetic events. Organic events evolve naturally out of the coming and goings and needs of the community. Synthetic events are those imposed on the community by someone desirous of holding such an event even though it has no origins in the community itself. And we thought this chain saw undertaking had “synthetic” stamped all over it making even less sense, under the circumstances, for it to have been approved.
At some point in this e-mail conversation, the mayor pointed out that “I guess I'd disagree with you that the residents aren't considered. Every board member and myself, are elected by the residents, who we represent, trying our best to balance all factors. If our representation seems off, or wrong, there are ways to replace us."
To this we replied that “... we think saying that if we in the village do not like decisions being made we should simple vote people out of office. We find that to be a cop out. As a resident, I expect whoever is in office to realize that they represent the citizens of the community. Unfortunately, there are those of us who do not think that is happening.”
Needless to say, the mayor disagreed. He also pointed out that those who attended the event really enjoyed it. And we don’t doubt that. Had we known about it we too might have been inclined to attend. But we have to ask if those who did attend would have enjoyed it less if it had been held in a more suitable location? We rather doubt it.
Unfortunately, as we think about this, it seems that the only group in town which does not have some sort of a lobbying organization representing its interests are the residents. And while the mayor may think, as he pointed out when talking about Lakefront Park, “it's a park surrounded by houses. Doubleday has the same issues,” we tend to look at it differently. Lakefront Park, as well as Doubleday Field, are public areas which have been developed in the middle of what are fragile residential neighborhoods. And to continue to undertake events which should be done somewhere other than our parks will only continue to increase the fragile nature of our residential community.
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