Just about 30 minutes ago, our town voted down a $10,000 grant that would have allowed us to keep the old school building and turn it into a community center. It was not a pleasant meeting. I love my town, but I do have a hard time being in a place that is afraid of the future. Most of the arguments were based on "what if"s... what if the furnace dies, what if we can't find more grants... half empty lines of thinking. I am half full to a dangerous point, I realize-- "Let's go for it, and it'll all work out somehow!"-- which is no way to run a business or a town, but there has to be a happy medium in there somewhere. Sadly, this project is not the one that will allow us to find it, because the building is now closed, forever.
Sadly, it reminds me of the town meetings when the town had applied for a new school building back in the early 90s. I wasn't a voting member of the town, but as an employee of the school I went to a few meetings to be informed. The town voted that building down... which is what directly lead us to have to merge with the neighboring SAD a decade later, which then became the massive RSU we now work for and send our kids to. The fear of the circuit breaker (the amount of the building which we did not have to repay because it was deemed more than the town could afford) caused citizens to turn it down in 1994. Those very ghosts were present in that same room tonight, but at what cost?