Three lessons I took from last week’s election results:
1 — We want strong, excellent schools. The civic noise generated by individuals and groups who claim we spend too much on our schools was far out of proportion to their showing at the polls. Falmouth voters overwhelmingly want great schools for their children and vote to support them.
2 — We trust our School Board and Town Council to those who have shown their civic character by participation and volunteerism here. We don’t elect extremists or “agenda”-driven candidates. We are a town of intelligent centrism; a positive quality for our community.
3 — Perhaps the biggest lesson is that our town is a long way from deciding the fate of the Plummer-Motz and Lunt properties. The “referendum” was so close that no clear mandate was given to the council as to what to do now. Unfortunately, the previous council appeared to be so polarized that a healthy discussion of the issues was almost impossible, resulting in a “do-or-die”-type referendum that benefited no one. What we need is more of the cooperative attitude and hard work Councilor Will Armitage showed by putting together one creative proposal for the properties. We need to move beyond the destructive dynamic of “sell the old schools and get the property back to the tax rolls” vs. “let’s make this a huge town-owned project.” We need more intelligent centrism and problem-solving skills at the table. That is where the strength of Falmouth lies.