To suggest, as a member of the Waitsfield Select Board did recently, that the town "skip the steps" and simply put rebuilding Joslin Hill Road out to bid is simply bad public process.
Recall that in September the select board voted to reject a grant to study whether it was feasible to improve pedestrian and bike safety on Joslin Hill Road.
That grant would have looked at whether shoulders or lanes might be widened without compromising residents' concerns about stone walls and trees.
It would also have created timelines and cost estimates – one thing the town needs whether it rebuilds the road or simply shims it.
When the board rejected the grant, the board also rejected the work of a previous version of the select board in seeking to understand if safety could be improved.
In September, some board members concluded that they could work with knowledgeable citizens in town and come up with a way to see if safety could be improved when the road was rebuilt. They decided to create a committee and commit to a public process. But that work has barely begun.
And now some members are advocating for "skipping those steps," too? That is really not fair to residents, voters or anyone with an interest in this issue. It's not fair and it's another attempt by some members of this current board to revise history and undo the work of previous boards. That is bad public policy, period.
The board is holding a hearing on December 15 at 6:30 p.m. and this will have to suffice for what was supposed to be a full public outreach. So those with opinions about the future of Joslin Hill Road are advised to attend.
That hearing takes place at the town offices.