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Opinion: Revote offers new opportunity

We, the people of Middlebury, now have the great opportunity to engage in a right of democracy; that is, to honor the referendum passed to give voters another chance to review options on the design and location of new town offices. Imagine the creative idea of Mr. Brush to locate the town office and a senior center on Route 7 in the two buildings once owned by Lightning Photo. There would be plenty of parking. And there is the option to expand for other facilities should the need come up.
I am most opposed to the current selectboard plan to build a small town office in a small space next to Ilsley Public Library for these reasons:
1.      It would greatly decrease parking for the whole town, particularly for seniors and families with young children.
2.      The design of the building does not fit in with the rest of Middlebury’s historic architecture and would look awkward in its juxtaposition to the library and other interesting facades nearby.
3.      We need the chance to expand any public building in the future. The current plan would eliminate that possibility.
4.      If the college still wants to move the Osborne House to the tune of $1 million, that can happen and we could have a lovely park next to the library, so much more in keeping with the flavor of our town.
Please vote NO on the upcoming ballot on May 13 and make it possible to consider other options to the current town office plan. We have not had that opportunity yet. Some longtime residents are tired of these decisions. But creativity and imagination could now be the order of the day instead of blanket decisions made by the selectboard and the financial carrot offered by the college.
Dorie Bechtel
Middlebury

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