As is almost always the case at this time of year, town officials are winding up months of deliberations as articles for the Spring Town Meeting warrant come into focus and are laid out in black and white.
Just this week, for instance, the Select Board wrestled with questions about fixing the old library’s leaking roof in light of a tight budget, and hiking the Transfer Station fee to address soaring waste-hauling and disposal costs. For months before that, the committees charged with managing budgets and capital expenditures worked overtime to balance competing but worthy needs, resulting in the first request for a tax override in more than a decade. And although it isn’t on the warrant, state deadlines relating to a multi-million dollar renovation of Ayer Road will require timely public input.
And now comes COVID-19, reshuffling the relative importance of town business in our lives, but nevertheless requiring some fancy footwork to reschedule this year’s Town Caucus and election, and possibly the Spring Town Meeting and special election. Meanwhile, all of us beat back anxiety as we try to follow CDC guidelines for staying well and protecting the most vulnerable among us.
As conditions become more difficult for everyone, let us resolve to be as good to one another as circumstances allow. Or to paraphrase a famous quote often attributed to Plato or Pliny the Elder: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.