To the editor: Civil discourse makes for a brighter future for Chester

The night prior to the vote on an amendment to Chester’s Unified Development Bylaws, a public meeting  was held at Town Hall for voicing views and asking questions on the matter.

For me, it was a valuable experience. It became clear that there were many on both sides who had Chester’s – not outside corporate — interests in mind. I stated to a  friend later that evening that if some of our group could sit down over a beer with some of those disagreed with our position, we’d discover we’re seeking many of the same goals.

Two personal highlights of this vote are important to mention. One is that, as business-owner Barre Pinske and town moderator Bill Dakin, among others, made clear, the democratic process worked. In a time when aspects of our national culture are showing reason for concern, we must be appreciative of that function in our community.

The other point is that after so many of us have complained about the lack of civil discourse in our town politics and by some of our elected officials, I was impressed by one of the central dialogues that occurred at the meeting for this vote, the one with Roy Spaulding.

He disagreed with our position. He was intending to vote “no” on the amendment. He asked numerous questions and expressed his positions. I agreed with the majority of his points.

But I was most impressed and inspired by his civility. Maybe displaying such style in our discourse is the more important hope about our community’s future that we could all take away from this experience.

Claudio Véliz, AIA

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  1. I’m surprised that anyone would be impressed at Roy Spaulding’s “Civility.” Roy has always displayed civility. It’s how his parents raised him.