Tuesday November 27, 2012

Over the past half a year, there has been sentiment expressed by some board members of the Pownal Historical Society who have openly advocated for the demolition of Bartel’s Lodge. It is neither proper or simply the expression of "personal opinion" for these members to advocate for such and in general board members should and must be guided only by the mission statement of the organization they profess to represent and specifically not influenced by their own personal opinions, affiliations, or the opinions of those whom they align themselves with.

One of the purposes of a historical society is to obviously help preserve antiquities that possess historical significance from being destroyed or otherwise lost. In fact, for those who have ever read the Pownal Town Plan drafted by planning board members appointed by the select board and said plan subsequently approved by the select board, such preservation is purported to be also a goal of the Town of Pownal as a whole. As a former long-term planning commission member, I direct attention to page 42 of the Pownal town plan, adopted late 2006, specifically states that the town must be attentive to: "...gathering and preserving historical data and artifacts..." and further: "...The Town should seek state assistance or a grant to undertake a more in-depth assessment of historic resources before they are inadvertantly lost.


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" Therefore, for the Town’s select board to willfully take action to destroy a noted historical site is a conflict of their own Town Plan and potentially unlawful.

In short, members on any board of directors who are in direct opposition to a non-profit group’s mission statement or do not advance the cause as it relates to the society/organization’s objectives is counter-productive and in similar fashion, a Town that moves to ignore the directives of its own Town Plan is floundering under misguided leadership.

KATHY GAFFNEY

Pownal, Vt.