Over forty prominent supporters of “Reset Lakeside” filled the Bradley Room at the Council Meeting last night to present a brief, joint statement urging adoption of a particular resolution to accomplish that goal. Below is an open thank you letter to the attendees, which also assesses the Council’s reaction and expresses the path forward advocated by The Talbot Integrity Project.
First, thank you for filling the Bradley Room last night and having the stamina to sit through a typically dull meeting, just to show the Council that a very broad and diverse swath of the Talbot community truly wants the Reset Resolution adopted—no fooling around. Special thanks to Tim Cureton who spoke well for us–a new generation, new energy, not the same ol’ folks. (The thanks is not from me, but on behalf of all those in Talbot opposed to Lakeside, whether or not they even knew about the meeting.)
Cutting to the chase, Council members’ reactions to our request–including newly elected members who voiced support for “Reset Lakeside” during the campaign and who were happy to accept endorsement—was very discouraging. Isn’t that what you thought as well? We have known for some time that “Reset Lakeside” was not a done deal just because of the election results, but really???
In word and body language both, the utter lack of a welcoming response to our message, of any expression of support or embracing of our joint presentation, was shocking. Our statement was serious, reasoned, respectful, and brief. We emphasized that the “reset” effort is NOT about sewerage, but is required to recover a modicum of integrity in the County’s approval processes related to the COUNTY Comp Plan, and restore citizens’ right to be heard on the impacts of Lakeside without the taint of falsehood, which was denied all of us.
The response from the Dias? Though video is not up yet, you recall it was more or less this: “It’s only about sewers…we’ll work something out,” and “we’re committed to doing what the towns want.” In Trappe’s case many believe that means what the Lakeside developer wants. (Even as to sewerage, Lakeside’s plans are flawed and it is operating today contrary to the Planning Commission’s finding of inconsistency.).
So, what are we going to do about these signals from multiple Council members? Put our tails between our legs and slink away? Give up now, because we’re surprised that folks we thought supported us (and whom we supported) appear not to be there for us? Forfeit the game when on the one-yard line? I believe some on the Council are counting on that.
I don’t think so. Citizens’ voices–the Council members’ constituents—must count for something. This is not a direct democracy, where 28,000 voters say aye or nay to “Reset Lakeside”…were it only so. This is a representative democracy, where we try to elect trustworthy individuals to represent us in deciding the County’s business for our collective benefit. And elect members we did. Lakeside of course was not the sole issue in 2022, but who will claim it was not front and center, not a main point of discussion?
The demand to “Reset Lakeside” is not a minority view; a very large proportion of citizens have focused on it in the past 21 months…and will probably speak out in the next two weeks too. Our request that the specific “Reset” resolution be adopted is not a NIMBY phenomenon—from all over Talbot people seek only honest government and a proper review of the biggest, most disruptive project ever to be inflicted on rural community.
Given the reaction by the Council last night, there is but one thing to do: TIP will advocate a renewed effort by every citizen and voter in the County to reach out to all Council members directly, urge the introduction of the “Reset Lakeside” resolution on January 24th and an unequivocable up-or-down vote. We will urge its adoption of course, and clarity in any event on where everyone stands.
Let us not slink away.
Talbot Integrity Project