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Parsons: Lewisboro Has Lost Its Sense of Community

LEWISBORO – Peter Parsons has a vision. The Democratic candidate for town supervisor thinks Lewisboro has lost its sense of community and he wants to restore it.

“It’s the one thing I’d like to do above all else,” said Parsons, who has lived in Vista for 40 years. “When I first moved here, there was a strong sense of community and it has sadly declined in the last 10 years. It seems we all live on our own island and we retreat into it.”

Parsons, who also received the endorsements of the Working Families Party and the Independence Party, is a former member of  the Board of Trustees for the Lewisboro Library and he cites that institution as an example of what he is talking about.

“The library is in decline,” he said. “It’s cramped and noisy and we have driven the seniors out of it. It used to be a reading room for seniors who came to read papers and magazines and use the computers, but that has declined dramatically.”

He said there was a plan in place to expand the library in 1999, but it has fallen by the wayside. He said the library has since lost state funding, grant money, and gift of six figures.

“But they still have $2 million of their own money,” he said. “I want to do a small expansion. The cornerstone of restoring the sense of community is facilitating that expansion instead of hindering it.”

He also said that during the economic downturn, the town needs to be more creative in the way it spends its money. The key, he said, is volunteerism, which will not only help to get projects completed, but add to that missing sense of camaraderie within the town.

“We have a lot of preserves in this town,” he said. “But they are not being maintained. ATVs are running all over them and people are dumping their trash there. What we have not done is the obvious, and that is to create ‘Friends of [the preserves].’”

He said volunteers can help clean up the preserves and maintain them.

“If you rebuild a sense of community, then you can do that,” he asserted.

He also contends that recently created wetland laws are Draconian and have put a crimp in the sense of community he wants to bring back.

“When they first created the wetland codes, I was in favor of them,” he said. “But they are written in such a way, it not only affects you if you are building a house, but also if you are just building a new doorstep. People who want to do minor improvements face breaking the law or going through a nightmare of paperwork.”

He said simplifying the laws would give the homeowner more leeway and install a sense of community by creating new jobs for those looking for handyman work.

“I don’t believe it’s rocket science,” he said. “It’s common sense.”

Please note that an earlier version of this commentary incorrectly listed Parsons as a member of the Board of Trustees  for the Lewisboro Library. Rather, Parsons is a former member of the Board, having served in the past. We apologize for any misunderstanding-Ed

Do you agree with Parsons' assessment of Lewisboro? Let us know by emailing The Daily Lewisboro at bdumas@mainstreetconnect.us .

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