Help protect Hollis’ heritage

To the Editor:

The heritage we received from prior residents of Hollis is not only a splendid rural landscape, but a place of community and collaboration.

The Town Meeting is one of the primary events in which we engage as a community to collectively act to protect and enhance our heritage.

Therefore it was very disappointing that in the rush to protect the town’s physical environs, the meeting moved to preclude any discussion of the land warrants after presentations by the proponents. Given its overwhelming support, it is extremely unlikely deliberation would have altered the outcome on these articles, but that is not important. What is important is that we value each other’s opinions, and are open to learning from a variety of perspectives.

Deliberation may have uncovered problems that could have led to improving the articles with amendments. Alternatively, it could alert those involved in subsequent planning for the management of this land of valid concerns to be addressed for the best success of these projects. To this point, the person you view as your opponent may in fact prove to be your greatest ally by identifying problems you failed to consider, and thereby assist in improving the design of your proposal.

In the urgency to win our position by muting opposing views, we can lose the benefit derived from a community of diverse experiences and knowledge. It was the willingness of prior residents to use Town Meeting to gather a collective wisdom that enabled them to succeed in securing the qualities of Hollis that we now seek to perpetuate. Therefore let us be more cautious in using rules of order to act without full consideration of other viewpoints.

Ralph Nicosia-Rusin