Raising The Bar
For the last two issues, we’ve run cutting edge stories
about some of the quieter subjects that have tended to just
disappear without a local newspaper keeping watch on our day-to-day
life here in Olive. One was about some serious problems that
arose during the approval process for the Tongore Pines senior
housing complex in Olivebridge, a fine project, but one that
seems to have been pushed through without much concern for
the local community. The other, in this week’s property,
is about an oversight concerning a housing development, where
a badly-planned road went through that now needs significant
repair. Both include quite a bit of finger pointing between
different parties and agencies, yet the real problem that
seems to have arisen in each is graver than something someone
can stand up and apologize for.
Our town has grown complacent over the years. Somehow, over
years of life running along smoothly under the same people,
year in and year out, more and more “t’s”
have gone uncrossed, and more and more “I’s”
undotted. The result is that the town is now on the verge
of facing what all our neighbors have grown used to…
litigation based on mistakes. And a possible erosion of trust
in what is still primarily a decent administration, on both
the paid and volunteer sides.
Strangely, all of this has come up, though, just in time.
Concurrent with the Tongore Pines and Planning SNAFU stories,
we’ve learned that rock legend David Bowie and his supermodel
wife Iman have bought a home in town and are starting to be
seen around local establishments. Reports have come in that
Paul McCartney and his new bride, Heather Mills, were house
hunting in our parts. Bob Dylan was seen in Phoenicia (what
DOES he look like these days, anyway?).
A recent story pointed out how real estate prices just keep
going up in our parts… along with demand. And in spite
of the fears we’ve all been facing regarding the large
tax parcel issue that will hopefully be given a year’s
stalling come the next Onteora School Board meeting on August
20. Business seems to be doing decently along Route 28, and
new owners are opening up the old Tongore Store in Olivebridge.
The point of all these side glances? We’re changing
as a community. And this publication is reflecting those changes…
The town needs to operate differently to avoid the sorts of
partisan and litigation problems that have plagued the likes
of Marbletown and Woodstock, Shandaken and Hurley. We’ve
got to be, well, a bit more professional about what we do.
Does this have to mean we need to kick people out of jobs
and start acting snooty around town offices? No. Because we’ve
done good jobs in the past.
We just have to remember to be careful again, and to look
at the raising of these recent problems, right or wrong, as
a raising of the bar we’re all seeking to measure up
We just have to do better.