It is with great sadness that I continue to read the ongoing saga relative to the protracted negotiations for the sale of the South Sandwich Business District property or what was fondly known as the Golden Triangle. It seems as though the painful process has been continuing for most of the 19 years that I have lived in this beautiful, historic community. I have some personal opinions as to what should be built there and what should be not be built there. But I believe that my right to make that decision should only be contingent on my owning the specific property. I believe that whoever owns the property should have that right. That belief is part of who we are as a citizens of a free republic.
The selectmen were elected to prepare and approve budgets relative to public works, safety and education. They are not charged with being property management specialists or real estate moguls. We have a crying need for new public safety facilities. We have numerous public buildings scattered through the town in various stages of disrepair. We have a school system with ongoing building issues. The condition of our roads is fast approaching a typical Rhode Island community. (Rhode Island is now nationally number 1 in bridge and road disrepair.)
To sum up my thoughts: We have some excess land. The land has value. Sandwich needs the money. Put the property out to bid and sell it to the highest bidder. We have neither the right nor the qualifications to determine what the bidder does with his property beyond the typical zoning and environmental concerns.
Let’s return to doing the town’s business and leave the private property in the hands of the owners and the free market. God knows that the commission will make their lives miserable enough without us contributing to this embarrassing food fight.
Gerald D. Nye