Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Solving our town's problems

Guest editorial by Carl Johansen

To the good citizens of Sandwich:

We all know Sandwich is in a financial dilemma and we are limited to how many dollars we can raise to effectively solve all our problems, but that should not mean we stop trying, going forward into the future of Sandwich.

We must solve this imbalance of the structural deficit if we here in Sandwich are to survive. Both the municipal and school sides of these deficits need to be truly evaluated for the positive outcomes we need to bring to these problems. We have a few individuals that are placing them selves in the breach to hopefully gain the upper hand on our dilemma.

As I watched and listened to last night’s candidates’ debate, I see that those individuals do exist.

We need strong citizens who are not afraid to not only look outside of the box, but be prepared to follow up as well.

We need these candidates to also not have any hidden agendas, as was clear to me in some cases last night held.

We need candidates who are aware of all our problems both from the school side as well as the municipal side that can focus on the reality we all face here in Sandwich during these hard economic times.

Economic development has been the buzzword for the past number of years, but what has really transpired has not been positive to the whole town as of yet. How do you make a plan on a wish, because up to now that is what I see, even going into the future.

Sandwich, over the years has lost meaningful economic development because of road blocks placed before it by the very folks that seem to find some fault that it is not a good fit here in Sandwich. We have lost many opportunities over the years and many new business folks no longer believe we are serious in that endeavor.

We need to show the world that Sandwich can change its image for the future, because if we do not, we will still be talking about economic development ten or twenty years from today.

This leaves us with a very narrow window of opportunity to resolve our present problems, as we are facing presently, so we need to help ourselves the best way we can.

If that means reducing some of the useless and outmoded structures we own by selling them, then we need to do that. History cannot dictate the final outcome, rather it should enhance the process if we all keep an open mind as to the final benefit for the welfare of the whole town.

Consolidating has its merits and looking to the future as well. When speaking about town buildings, they should be aggressively addressed, because if we do not put in place a plan of the future we all will remain in the past and suffer a continued economic imbalance.

Centralized government is the future to survival for Sandwich and we need to make those sacrifices now and not wait, because waiting will continue to take its toll and recovery will never occur, no matter how much economic development we do see.

Any and all choices must be made for everyone and not for just one side of the equation to our problems we face today as a town.

In closing we need to evaluate the process to save our beaches. If we do not, Sandwich is looking at an economic disaster like none we have ever seen and it will not be pretty. We need to be proactive for the completion of establishing a better safety net to protecting our downtown properties.
Why can we not sue the Army Corps of Engineers for the present damages to the beachfronts and get relief from the very agency that created the problem for us?

I would like to see what some of my fellow town’s folks think may provide us with a positive blue print and guide the future of Sandwich. We need to be thinking about positive changes we can make, so that we can control our own destiny.

Carl Johansen
A concerned citizen in the wonderful Town Of Sandwich


  1. Here is just one reason why it may not be advisable to suggest suing the Army Corps of Engineers:

    The Sandwich Marina is approximately 11 acres and was obtained by the Army Corps of Engineers as part of its purchase of the Cape Cod Canal in 1928. The town has operated the marina under a lease agreement with the Corps since 1970.

    At present, the town and the Corps are splitting the cost of a feasibility study to determine the possibility of expansion of the marina.

  2. All true but not new ideas. The use of "we" is not altogether true. "We" told this town to open the fire station in East Sandwich. The people of this town voted on it and told "you" what to do and what they wanted. Did this happen? Nope. The people of this town didn't ask to steal Venus, they told this town what they wanted. So when we use the term "we" be careful because it is not true. Yeah yeah yeah, "we" know all of the explained reason as to why the station was not opened but it was not for for this town to go against the peoples vote. "We"? ................phttttt.

  3. Mr. Johansen, I find you quite elequent and very much liked your editorial.

    Frankly, I am not convinced that having new town buildings is necessarily the best way to go, but I still have not made up my mind and your editorial sure did help.

    I believe that the town needs to look at every line item and get in back of the numbers. There is much waste in those numbers not even being addressed. The reason there is waste is because we as a town do not look behind the numbers and get in back of the line items.

    We do have one and only one chance and that is the new econmomic development corporation, but, I am afraid that politics will play a large part in slowing it down.

    I have lived in five Massachusetts towns and never have I seen such a struggle for power as the Democrats and Republicans in this town. It is more important that there point of view prevail than to serve the best interests of the town. That is a fact!

    We just make quick decisions because of "time". Decisions such as not debating at town meeting because it would cost us a second night, not waiting to appoint a charter review commission without assuring that there is balance in that committee, appointing a Superintendent of Schools without public input, going for this town office stuff while we can't solve problems in the upcoming deficet. Let's get these things out of the way before we start borrowing for buildings.

    I love the town just as I feel you do, but I also like to have some money at the end of the month. We need to build in this town, but what we need to build are large buildings that don't require a lot of service from the town.

    Sandwich should be a model for the Cape and Massachusetts not the joke that we are portrayed as in the media.

    I do support what you have written, but I also feel now is not the time, maybe 2013, but not now. Let's give taxpayers a little breathing room.


  4. I read the anonymous postabove and marvaled about how on track she was about Sandwich politics. I thought she hit the nail on the head, but to my surprise it was signed by Lin who WAS me.

    Lin, a not concerned citizen of Sandwich

  5. Miss Lin, Every one should define what they feel is an appropriate and right thing to do that benifits all of its citizens in Sandwich.
    It is unfortuned that politics will some how work into how things get resolved,some may even say that is life in the city or country. If one looks through the glass at times, we all may find our answers. Any community can find good points as well as not so good, but we all need to better define how these good points serve every citizen of our community for the overall good of the whole and not just a portion of those whom are served by the government politics in place. Yes both the government and the people must come to an understanding that serves all with the least amount to every one concerned. Sacrifices, even those that may be difficult to make need to be addressed for a brighter future of our Sandwich community. I strongly believe that the future of Sandwich is at a cross road and how we as a community address all of these significant problems of financial duress will determine if we grow or just survive. Sandwich has a long record of just surviving and living in the past has its good points, but in order to grow we need to get out of that box and find the right folks to lead us in the right path. Some of the present elected officials and those employed by the town have this ability, but lack the support to make it happen. We the citizens of our fair town need to be more prudent in how we pick and choose electing new candidates for any office and be sure that these candidates are looking at the whole problem and how they may be part of the solution to our problems and not the problem that continues to grow discord.

    Carl Johansen


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