Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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There were a couple of dustings from above over the past week and then I awoke to wet snow on Monday morning. To me, this is the absolute worst weather. I enjoy a good snowfall, maybe a foot or two. Even rain doesn’t faze me. At least with snow or rain, you know what to expect. Slushy snow is the in-between weather that makes one shovel walks while you’re getting every bit as wet as if there was a rainstorm.

I’ve had disagreements with Paul DeRensis over the years, but he was always a complete gentleman. We had several drawn-out discussions by e-mail and in person, some that were intense, though he never raised his voice and was totally honest in answering my questions. Now that the Board of Selectmen has given Paul and his firm their walking papers, it’s time to forget about past history and concentrate on what took place last week.

What three members did to the selection process for Town Counsel was self-serving and short-sighted. There was no effort on the BOS’ part to investigate what the cost will be (to us) by changing law firms. It was obvious that the three members, who wanted Mr. DeRensis gone, didn’t pay attention to anything other than “we don’t want him,” and everything (such as reality) takes a back seat. At least Paul was enough of a gentleman to thank Nantucket for the decades he served us.

This entire episode taints my (formerly good) feelings about a couple of the board members. The third has never impressed me, so there’s no surprise here. Why the BOS handled this so poorly doesn’t surprise me. Of late, it’s plain to see that the BOS is back to micromanaging, or as I like to call it, meddling. All they should be doing is sticking to their basic job, which is voting on what’s in front of them. Please stop being proactive, because you’re not.

Most BOS ideas are poorly thought out and cost the town money that could easily have sustained more important programs. I see the BOS is going to spend over $10,000 to see if the windmills in Madaket will bother the neighbors. Give me $20 and I’ll explain that yes, there will be people that will complain about huge towers lowering property values, killing birds and making eerie noises. Think about the BOS of late. Are you happy in general with what they’ve accomplished?

A couple of weeks back, James Grieder wrote a letter to this paper, containing a number of complaints about several town committees and at least one department head. James works for the Historic District Commission. He has no sway over HDC decisions, so his view is his view and that’s an opinion from a worker, not an official reprimand from the HDC. Of course, elected, appointed and department heads don’t like to be criticized. Tough, I say!

Mr. Grieder was formerly an assistant town clerk, whose work was outstanding. He’s a very bright guy, with long-time ties to Tuckernuck and Nantucket. There are few, if any people that are as knowledgeable about the history of this pile of sand. Being a student of the past is the best way to figure out what will make the present and future work. When I read his original letter, it was a moment of clarity. James need not have apologized for what he believed was right. I’d like to think he’s protected by the First Amendment.

There aren’t many places open for dinner these days, so I’d like to say thank you to the eateries that are serving this winter. Two spots that I had dinner at last week were not only open, but the food was more than fine. Even Keel during the week was quiet and after having a very good dinner, the check was small, given the two-for-one dinner special.

Then, over the weekend, we tried Pi Pizza. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you how much I love Evan’s food. As a pizza fan, there are few places in the northeast United States that come close to Pi Pizza. The pizza ingredients are superb and the rest of his menu, especially the specials, make for a tremendous dining experience.

I’d like to wish all of you a very, Merry Christmas!
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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