To the Editor;
Two of your Selectmen attended the ZBA meeting last Thursday evening at which Tabor was seeking approval for lights on their playing field along Spring St. Due to the open meeting rules, I have not discussed the ZBA meeting with either of my fellow Selectmen, so what I express here is my personal opinion and not official. Between speakers and letters, I estimate approximately as many people spoke in favor of the lights as against them. Several people, including two abutters, made very gracious comments regarding Tabor and their importance to the community in support of the lights.
I was surprised by the animosity shown towards Tabor by some of those opposed to the lights. Many people speak to me about the need for Tabor to do more for the Town and your Selectmen certainly share that desire. But, the path to convincing Tabor to do more for the Town financially is by building bridges and trying to work with Tabor when they have clearly identified needs such as lights on their playing field. We will not succeed at this when people come across as opposing Tabor simply because they are Tabor.
Tabor clearly believes the lights will help them better manage their sports schedule and to carry out their educational mission. I personally believe athletic programs at all schools have an important educational purpose for our children and it is nitpicking to try to somehow argue that lights won’t help Tabor provide its students a better athletic experience.
These are lights that few us of us will notice once they are installed. Telephone poles are typically 40 feet to 45 feet high. Our streets are lined with telephone poles and the top of literally everyone, loaded with wires and transformers, is extremely unattractive. Most of the time we don’t notice them, because we don’t walk or drive around looking up.
Tabor is proposing to put up four 90-foot high light poles on their playing field along Spring Street. At that height with today’s LED technology, the lights will light the playing field and not the surrounding neighborhood. If most of us are unaware of the tops of 45-foot telephone poles, we will need to make a conscious effort to look up to see the tops these four light poles, twice the height of the telephone poles. And over time, as we go about our business in Town, not normally looking up, we will forget the light poles are there.
John P. Waterman
Board of Selectmen, Marion
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