Turf War Poll: Artificial Surface for Blocksidge — Yea or Nea

We asked a selectman who supports Article 12 at Town Meeting and a selectmen who opposes it for three reasons that anchor their positions. Weigh in with your thought by voting in our poll.


On May 7, Town Meeting representatives are scheduled to vote on Article 12, a proposal that includes $1,857,856 for Blocksidge Field improvements.

The article needs two-thirds of the representatives to vote for the article if the town borrows the money to pay for it.

A big part of the funding would pay for installing an artifical surface at Blocksidge.

We asked Selectman Jill Sullivan her three reasons for supporting the article.

We asked Selectman Glenn Kessler his three reasons for opposing the article.

We present their arguments, paraphrasing what they told us.

Here they are:

Jill's 3

1) Need: The town has 1,400 youth who play youth and high school sports.

The town's fields are so over used that it becomes difficult to schedule all the soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey and other sports on the existing fields. Now, there is talk of adding a fall lacrosse league.

A field with lights will add capacity.

2) Value: There is an opportunity now to leverage $750,000 in private funds raised to help offset the 2.6 million project. That's 31 percent of the cost.

The project will be no less expensive in the future; and it will be no easier to raise private dollars in the future.

3) Priority: The town is investing in its emotional center.

The town has approved a new high school and a new police station, investing in education and public safety.

Phillips Park and Blocksidge Field is the heart of the town, where all generations congregate and bond.

The town needs to invest in this center to maintain that center and attract new people to town.

Glenn's 3

1) Cost: There has been talk about how an artifical surface will save $50,000 annually in maintenance (the original version of this story, mistakenly, had a different figure), and that this savings could be used to pay for the estimated half million dollars it would cost to replace the artifical surface after 10 years.

Now, there is word that an artificial surface would only save $10,000 annually in maintenance. Taxpayers would have to pay $400,000 to replace the field. That's money that could be used for other infrastructure needs in town.

2) Priority: While an artificial surface is a good idea, it would be a good idea for a time when the town's other infrastructure needs were not so glaring. The economic pressures that taxpayers feel now is great.

The $1.86 million being proposed for the Blocksidge improvements would be better spent on failing infrastructure in town including building maintenance. For instance the field house at Phillips Park has a major crack in it that need repairing.

3) Decision making: A project of this magnitude should be put before voters directly in a town-wide vote.

Dorothy Albert July 08, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Right On!
Dorothy Albert July 08, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Hi, I have been going to the beach for 35 years! I walk through and past there daily. There is plenty of beach parking. Get a sticker and go there. The movie set people have been very accommodating. I was part of the original beach committee, trust me I was upset at first. I check for stickers everyday! It is quiet where the building is. I asked for more stones on the walkway because of water. I asked for the path to be cleaned up etc. What really upsets me are the town citizens who are dumping their grass and whatever else on the walk way. I pay to have mine picked up. Notice the new signs! Try to enjoy the summer and the movie makers!
Blue Blue July 09, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Tom, I was talking to Ted, I mean Ernie, are you the same guy? Any way don't we have enough boards and committees without creating a stadium commission to run one field. What about the rest of the fields? Do they run those too. I don't think eliminating existing departments and creating new commissions to take their place does anything positive for the town.
Blue Blue July 09, 2012 at 01:32 AM
You won't get anything but hot air out of the Van Dam/Kessler group. They don't really have anything of substance other than being obstructionists.
Citizen Swamp July 09, 2012 at 02:28 AM
DA Right on Dorothy? I guess we can surmise that your children are all grown up, so lets keep throwing up excuses like the environment and the Canada geese. See how a decrepit park improves your property value. An you are right the new elementary school proponents will spend your money so fast it will make your head spin. CS By the way my kids are grown up too,


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