|By G. Michael Dobbs|
There are few things stronger in life than blind faith. It has the strength of steel and the bullet-shedding ability of Kevlar. It can withstand aging without a problem. It won't rust or corrode. It might collect some dust, but wipe it off and its glistens once again.
Sometimes faith can be amended, while other times it is cast in stone and can not be changed.
Now I'm not talking specifically about religion. Faith comes in secular models as well, and we have two examples happening right here in our area.
In Agawam, the folks at National Realty Development Corporation put two questions on the ballot that would have allowed them, if approved, to by-pass some of the procedure the company would have to go through in order to proceed with their plan to build a new shopping center.
The proposed center has been very controversial. Many in the town have expressed grave concerns over the traffic impact and how the center would affect its neighbors.
This vote showed in no uncertain terms that the majority of the voters are not interested in the proposal. They spoke quite loud and said, "No!"
I'm sure the folks at NRDC can understand English and have recently changed the batteries in their hearing aids, so there should be no problem in getting the message.
Well, there is this faith issue.
They have faith that somehow they will change the hearts and minds of the Agawam population. In the next few months as they try to negotiate this proposal through the town government, they undoubtedly hope others will see the light.
They should admit defeat and seek another location. There is no disgrace in mounting a sincere campaign, but there is in dragging things out.
No ones wants to be the equivalent of the high school boy who asks the same girl out a dozen times, hoping she will one day change her mind, right?
As I write this column on Monday morning, there is no apparent change in the situation in Chicopee. Rick Goyette still is reporting to work as mayor and still is not speaking to anyone.
Goyette is innocent until proven guilty. Let me repeat that: Goyette is innocent until proven guilty.
However, with the kind of evidence that the FBI has produced, one could make a fair statement that Goyette's legal problems are indeed impeding his ability to represent the city of Chicopee.
And that is a big problem.
There are people who have faith that Goyette is innocent. Clearly, Goyette has some sort of faith that he will steer clear of this serious situation. While I respect that faith, I think the mayor needs to think about the city he loves and step down now.
It's hard to deny faith, but sometimes it's the only right thing to do.
With this edition of the Chicopee Herald the news staff says goodbye to to our friend and colleague Paula Canning, who is departing to live and work in the Boston area.
Paula has done a great job over the past year and we will miss her greatly. I have schemed for the past six weeks on ways of keeping her here, but to no avail.
That being said, I have no doubt her replacement Nate Luscombe will do an equally fine job.
A graduate of Springfield College, Nate has been paying his reporter dues writing for a weekly newspaper in his native New Hampshire.
Please address your news contributions to Nate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are my opinions alone. Send your comments to email@example.com or to 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA, 01028.