LTE-Restore COAST Funding

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Restore COAST funding
To the Editor:

Last week you had a letter from a concerned citizen in Farmington regarding the cutting of COAST bus service, route 6, to Farmington. This is of great concern to me as well. Our citizens need to be connected to other places in the state. Public transportation throughout New Hampshire is a necessity for many of our state and vital to our local residents.

I happened to have been present at a Farmington Board of Selectmen meeting last year and saw the conversation regarding funding of the COAST route last year. While it was approved, it certainly was difficult to make a majority of our Selectmen understand the importance of the bus route and of being part of a public transportation system.

While last year, the Selectpersons with vision and community mindedness won out, it is clear that this year, they were defeated. It is unfortunate that we don’t have more community minded individuals stepping up and participating in our public and community organizations and committees. Our town offices are riddled with selfish individuals who have no vision or empathy for others around them. They run for office, and unfortunately get elected, to serve their own agenda. They want to lower their own taxes usually, and have no commitment to the town itself. Being involved in local organizations, I know from personal experience that these officials have been personally contacted and invited to community events and have not had the courtesy to respond to the invitation, let alone attend the event.

These folks need to be voted out of office. We need our elected officials to work hard to build our community, to connect it to the other struggling communities in New Hampshire, and to fight to spend our limited funds in ways that invest in our future as a town. That is the big picture. That is where we need to focus.

But for now, we have to save our Bus Route. Last year a single comment made by one of our self serving Selectmen really demonstrated how selfish and anti-community minded these folks are. The comment was that he had seen empty buses go by, so they are not used. He made his decision, and tried to convince others, that the importance of our bus route was to be determined by a single data point! There was no thought about what the bus service means to our town in general, or to its future. There was no concern for the people who ride the bus, who need the bus, so they can remain living in our community and connect to their jobs, to appointments, to doctors and hospitals, and to friends and family. The Board’s decision to cut service was not made with any concern for our community or our future. It was made simple to save a buck! How selfish and narrow minded can these people be.

I urge you to vote on Tuesday, March 11. Get these people out of office and elect those with true vision and concern. And once you’ve voted, please attend the Town Meeting on Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. in the Recreation Center and vote to restore our COAST bus line. COAST isn’t only a bus service, for many, it is a lifeline. Thank you.

Stan Freeda