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Forecaster Forum: Council shows 'malice,' makes doing business too hard in Falmouth

Opinion

Forecaster Forum: Council shows 'malice,' makes doing business too hard in Falmouth

On Monday, Aug. 27, Councilor Chris Orestis and the Falmouth Town Council held a public meeting to review a zoning amendment regarding “Property Identification Signs.” It should be noted here that this council item was a town-wide policy issue, as it was an amendment that applied to “business signage” – not me personally or my company, TideSmart Global.

While the amendment is certainly relevant to an ongoing signage situation involving my business, the agenda item considered by the Town Council was a general ordinance matter.

Yet for 47 minutes, I was personally referenced approximately 100 times – while the merits of the actual ordinance change being considered was not referenced even once. Not once.

And during that 47-minute hearing, I was personally, professionally and politically insulted, disparaged, and slandered by you, Councilor Orestis, and others on the Falmouth Town Council in a manner that can only be described as an act of malice. (The video is available on Falmouth’s town website.)

During the council meeting you made many comments pertaining to teaching me a lesson, making it “hurt,” while openly asking what could be done to “punitively punish” me. You made many references to not letting me or other businesses “get away” with anything, even going so far as to suggest that I should be forced to dismantle my entrance sign.

Anyone watching your televised performance can see that yours were not the reasoned words of a thoughtful town leader. They were the petty and puny declarations of a small man with a bigger agenda to “hurt” a neighboring community leader, U.S. Senate candidate and Falmouth business owner.

In the coming days when you’re driving down U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth searching out other “one-inch” signage infractions that warrant public pain and embarrassment for their owners, please take notice of the dozens of “For Sale” and “For Lease” signs that surround my building and are sprouting up all along U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth. These signs reflect a clear and meaningful manifestation that doing business in Falmouth is too hard.

And last Monday night, you made it much harder. You, Councilor Orestis, and the entire Falmouth Town Council should be ashamed. More than accomplishing your stated goal of “hurting” me, you let down the people of Falmouth – residents and business owners. They deserve more from their elected officials.

We all do.

Stephen M. Woods is president of TideSmart Global in Falmouth, chairman of the Yarmouth Town Council, and an independent candidate for U.S. Senate.