Reflections on the February 28th Harpswell Meeting

I am a Chebeague Island resident attending the February 28th meeting, seated in the upper far right bleacher section. Although restricted to the outskirts, the effects of the process were no less meaningful. I listened carefully to both sides, for and against the project. Both sides argued legitimate points of concern.

One speaker's words, "It's plain as black and white," echoed in my thoughts throughout the meeting, and my eyes were continuously drawn to a painting in the room. Maybe others noticed it. For and against voters of Harpswell may take it for granted because it's always been there. The selectman could not see it, due to their position. But I'm sure they too knew it was there, and it has probably been part of the character and focal point of the room for a long time. It didn't occur to me why the words "black and white" and this painting continuously absorbed my thoughts until later.

The answer is this ...It's not clear as black and white as in the words of this contract or lease. The answer is in color, crystal clear as the colors defining the character and lines of the rowboat painted above center stage. It fits in. This room parallels this town, neighboring towns, and this bay area. One could sign the black and white contract and have a large scale black and white tanker painted over the colorful rowboat. I guarantee no matter who you are, whether you vote yes or no, or are just a visitor to the room that day, your eyes will never become complacent to the new painting. It does not belong any more than a tanker and this project belong in our bay. Please don't paint over the colorful rowboat with black and white or green. Money fades, the adverse effects from this project will not.

Jonathan Rich
77 John Small Road
Chebeague Island, ME 04017