Durham residents discuss newcomers versus old-timers
Melanie Lekocevic reports for Capital Region Independent Media that the Town of Durham held its second annual community town meeting June 11 outside at Brandow Memorial Park. “The comprehensive plan recommended that the town should hold an annual meeting to present each annual report and provide an opportunity for a community discussion about it,” said Bernard Rivers, chairperson of Durham Connect. “The meeting is just a chance for residents and officials to meet and hear from each other." Rivers, Town Supervisor Shawn Marriott, and Town Councilperson Joan Breslin led the meeting. Marriott's recent quote in the town’s annual report dominated the conversation. “The issue of newcomers is still extremely polarizing in our town. It has gotten worse in the last few months. We need to find a way to strike a balance with welcoming new people into our community and protecting our core values and way of life,” he said in the report Marriott said he wanted to make clear that he welcomes everyone. “We have to strike some way of being able to get along,” Marriott said. “It is a polarizing topic because you get people who are very adamant in both directions. I do my best to remain neutral.” But residents kept the newcomers versus old-timers issue going. “If you are going to move to an area, you should maybe find out something about it, about the culture of that area… so you don’t get angry when the guy next door is target shooting, so you know the rules — you can target shoot, but not near a house,” Mary Ann Ledda, the only citizen quoted in the story, said. Residents also brought up broadband access and roadside trash, but did not mention the proposed Bosque housing development that dominated discussion at town meetings for the past year. Read more about this story at The Upstater.com.