We want it to end
Editor of the Reformer:
Here we go again. Descending on yet another piece of land in Rockingham, with a new name, the Windham County Sheriff moves forward to solidify his vision in the same town that has just loudly declared no by Australian ballot, albeit slightly muffled in its non-binding nature. The citizens who shouted no did not ask for it to be non-binding. We want it to end. Now we must ask the question again on a special town warning whether or not all of Rockingham, not simply its principal village, is a fit location for the Southern Vermont Justice Center. How many times must we shout no?
The town of Rockingham's people care deeply for those who need a fresh start. Our social services speak to that each and every day. Overburdened, underbudgeted, understaffed, they struggle to create better outcomes already. Here's a solution: fund them better. The sheriff wishes to ravage current funding sources for his redundant services out of the same pots of money that fund our own struggling providers. What will become of our programs? Who will help the residents of Rockingham when it is needed?
His sermons speak to the greater good, while attempting to drown out the voices of the town where he wants his social experiment to reside. We ask for facts and figures while he eulogizes. We ask why it must be here and receive platitudes. We want understanding while he talks theories. We must live with our outcomes, therefore we deserve the right to choose them.
Our elected officials should protect us when we tell them we cannot accept this, yet they act as though their hands are tied by government strings. How can they move us forward when they are gagged and cannot speak to the will of the people? Why must we do the work alone? What has happened to government that our boots on the ground are our only defense?
These answers are not forthcoming so we will defend ourselves from negative forces that we believe will change the landscape forever. We must shout louder. Dig deeper. Love our community more. We will decide its future. You have woken us up. We will not be stilled.
Deborah Wright, Bellows Falls, March 11