We are not lucky to have Representative Flanagan
To the Editor:
After reading the letter from Rindge, “Brookline lucky to have Flanagan,” I have to respond to the incorrect statement made.
Mr. Cleveland states “by refusing to accept very dangerous HUD grant money, he literally saved the town assets.”
The grant was applied for by the town to develop a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for people to start new businesses in Brookline by creating a “mixed use” overlay district along Route 130. A survey of the residents of Route 130 found a majority in favor of the concept and the Selectboard (including Rep. Jack Flanagan) approved applying for this grant.
As co-chair of the Mixed Use Committee that was set up by the Selectboard, I read the grant contract and spoke to the individual in charge of approving the grant. There was nothing in any way threatening or controlling in the contract. It was a standard community development block grant, not unlike numerous others that the town has received in the past.
The Mixed Use Committee was a group of several volunteers appointed by the Selectboard to work on the project. We worked for a year on this project.
After the grant had been awarded to the town, I asked the Selectboard at public session if they had any questions or concerns before voting to accept the contract. There were none. The board then voted 3-2 to reject the grant and disband the committee. Explanations were given only after the vote had been taken. Two members of the Selectboard, including Representative Flanagan, cited conspiracy theories involving the United Nations as part of their reasoning for voting against the grant.
Instead of “saving the town’s assets”, Representative Flanagan’s actions were against small businesses and diversifying the town’s tax base.
Video of the meeting where Representative Flanagan voted against the grant is available on YouTube if you search for “Brookline NH Selectmen”.