Support for leash law at Indian Brook

I was pleased to read here that the Selectboard plans to discuss the leash law at Indian Brook Park, which seems to have evolved into a dog park. As recent comments on Front Porch Forum and among my neighbors and friends will attest, things seem to be getting out of hand with regard to the blatant disregard of the “dog rules” at the park. As many have pointed out, it’s not the dogs themselves who are at fault; they are just being dogs. What I have a problem with is irresponsible dog owners who don’t follow the rules (which are in place for the safety and enjoyment of all pass-holders), and just plain inconsiderate dog owners.

I regularly witness dogs swimming in the boat launch area (despite the presence of the big sign prohibiting it) and dogs unleashed in the parking lot, and recently discovered a big pile of dog doo that my car’s front tire narrowly missed. I have found dog waste bags filled and left by the trail. I regularly encounter dogs who clearly aren’t under voice control. (Having to yell to your dog 6 or 8 times is not “under voice control,” folks.) All of these things are pretty common happenings at Indian Brook Park.

The Town generously provides bags for dog waste collection; those who bring dogs don’t even need to be responsible for bringing these items themselves. (Am I paying for these bags, by the way?) The Park was recently closed to swimming due to elevated levels of E.coli. According to the email from Parks & Rec. on the topic, animal waste, including that from visiting dogs, is “a large contributor to increased E.coli levels in the water.”

There is no excuse for not knowing or following the rules, which are provided in writing upon purchase of a park pass. Signs are posted, and verbal reminders are given at check-in. Not to mention, a lot of this is common courtesy. Unfortunately, there is no official policing in the sense that no staff are posted at the parking lot and picnic areas for the purpose of monitoring adherence, which leaves the burden of the “friendly reminder” to those park-goers who feel comfortable speaking up.

As a beloved shared natural space, Indian Brook Park means different things to different people. The presence of both dog and human activity definitely seems to affect the behavior of the birds that call the park home, and likely other critters. As such, I would love to see the powers that be instititute dog-free days or dog-free hours at Indian Brook Park, e.g., every Wednesday, or at certain times on certain days, so that those who visit the park for the peaceful, quiet beauty and the fauna can have a better chance of doing so in peace and quiet.

To be clear, it’s not about the dogs; it’s about the people. And it’s about time something is done about it. Thank you,

Beth Glaspie



TOV residents should have equal representation in merger discussion

In reference to Rich Maggiani’s Letter to the Editor in the July 18, 2019 Essex Reporter.  Township residents should support Mr. Maggiani’s call to ‘halt to all discussions until a five-person board who represent only Town Outside the Village (TOV) residents be created by vote of Town Outside the Village (TOV) residents, and then included in collaborations on an equal footing.”

But didn’t the Town of Essex vote down a merger just a few years ago? Why is it being pursued again so quickly?

What are the financial implications for Town of Essex taxpayers?  Exactly how much will taxes go up for Town residents and down for Essex Village residents?

Generalizations about “economies of scale” and “savings generated by eliminating duplicate budgets and bookkeeping” sound like positive benefits but the town Selectboard and Essex Trustees must present specific benefits and specific savings.  We want to know how those savings benefit town residents at tax time.

I also notice that early on in these discussions, the words “unification” “alignment” and “consolidation” were put forth as camouflage and as deflective terms to avoid the word “MERGER”.

I am skeptical that Essex Village Trustees or the Town Select board members are looking out for Essex Town Voter interests until they answer questions with specifics.  Until then, I encourage Essex Town residents to vote “NO” on any merger proposal.

William White