Letters to the Editor

Big Rock: Worried about town's future

I stood before the mayor and Coupeville Town Council July 9 and told them of my concerns about the future of Coupeville. The vote to change zoning on the Big Rock property was predictable; however, the people of Coupeville need to be aware of how important this issue is not only for this particular property but also for the future direction of Coupeville. The fight is not over.

This discussion is not about Videoville. I like Miriam, her family, her business, and the people who work in her business. Regardless of the outcome I will continue to spend my money at Videoville.

What is not to like?

I will tell you what I do not like.

I do not like driving through Coupeville and seeing private and commercial structures, which have no sense of scale — no concept of belonging to their surroundings — no sense of place within the community or even their own small lots.

I do not like driving through Coupeville and seeing a courthouse which is the epitome of sloppy design, both in terms of esthetics and function.

I do not like driving through Coupeville and seeing the octopus-like expansion of a hospital that is growing in every way physically, but at the same time is unable to provide the quality of medical care that is needed for this community.

I do not like driving through Coupeville and experiencing mini traffic jams.

I do not like the philosophy of a town council that in most cases appears to value the dollar and the expansion of that dollar over the spiritual well-being and the sense of place in this community.

I do not like to hear time and time again, that we have no control over growth and our own destiny. Contrary to what most of you may think, I am not a “no growth” advocate. I do however, firmly believe that we can, and indeed we must control our growth in a manner fitting with the environment, our resources and our ability to sustain but not abuse the land that supports us. I am not talking specifically about our water resources but about the total package. To do any less is a crime to those who came before and those who come after us.

And most especially I do not like a town council that sits on high and looks down at its neighbors in this hall, as it did at the last meeting, and announces with unmitigated arrogance that if any comments received about this project are repeats, they will be “filed in the round file.”

Things will be repeated until you start paying better attention to the wishes of all community members who elected you to office. Coupeville is more than realtors, builders and the Chamber of Commerce.

I repeat myself…this is not about Videoville. It is about a wonderful place, which is slowly, but without any doubt, being destroyed one rock, or pasture at a time. There are moments where I look around me and believe it has already been destroyed, but then I see a glimmer of hope scattered among the ruins.

Please, listen not only to your neighbors and friends, but also to the people who you think to be your enemies. Listen to what can still be reality. We can accommodate growth but we need to think of it as an enemy, which will and can destroy us if we are not vigilant and careful beyond normal measure. Please… please, do not think of growth as inevitable and more importantly, a measure of worth. There is far more to life and living than economic growth and the inevitable destruction of our sense of place. We still have that sense of place in Coupeville but I am seeing it destroyed little by little. Soon your children and mine will look here and say, “Why Coupeville?’ It’s just like everywhere else!”

I will fight long, hard and become more of a thorn than you ever thought possible to prevent that from happening.

Winston Churchill said: “We shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us”

I would like to paraphrase Mr. Churchill and say: “We shape our community and then our community shapes us.”

David Medley


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