Letter: The Beacon Charter

Success has many fathers; failure, it is said, is an orphan. Thank God Beacon’s development is a success story. Therefore I think it noteworthy  to mention the bipartisan Charter Review Committee and the adoption of its proposed City Charter as one of those collective fathers (At the Heart of Beacon, Nov. 4).

The adoption of the current City Charter that established the four-ward versus a citywide district for electing a majority of city council made it much more possible for new progressive candidates to get elected. The Charter also provided for a professional administrator, who could easily see the economic potential of facilitating the move of a world-class museum like Dia to Beacon.

It is easy to forget that the previous City Council, before the Charter’s adoption, took pride in buying lottery tickets from their personal funds promising the proceeds to the city as a way out of the city financial crisis. This council could have easily rejected Dia on the basis of the loss of property taxes due to its nonprofit status and consequently a financial drain to the community.

It was progressive councilmen like Lee Kyriacou, Steve Gold and Chris White who led the charge for zoning changes that prohibited storefront apartments on Main Street and the carving up of single-family homes into multiple apartments. They also led the battle to close the city sludge incinerator.

Hopefully others will come forward with the names of the many other fathers to Beacon’s success so the current community activists and political leadership realize that it takes a whole village to raise a child like Beacon.

Charlie Kelly, Beacon

Kelly is a former co-chair of the Charter Review Committee.

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