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Tonight, the Town Council will hold a special public hearing about the much-debated artificial turf field. Unless something drastic happens, the field project will move forward and the grass and soil that is currently in place behind Cheshire High School will be removed to make way for more modern surface, which is billed to be much more durable.
Whether one is for or against this project, the level of dedication shown by those citizens who made up the Turf Committee, which spent more than two years fundraising, must be commended. They were passionate about installing a turf field behind the high school and it appears their efforts are about to pay off. Sometime in October, it is likely CHS athletes will be playing on the field.
However, there is still work to be done by the supporters of the new field. From the beginning, this turf project was billed as one that would benefit the entire community. It wasn't just for the different athletic teams at the high school, but for everyone, they claimed. Because the new synthetic surface would be so much more durable, new events would be able to be held on the field, and ones currently scheduled could remain.
Yet, little has been revealed about what “community” events, aside from high school athletics, will be planned for the new turf, and it still remains to be seen how Relay For Life, one of the town's biggest activities, will be effected by the turf field. It is doubtful that the large tents and coverings that are erected each year for Relay can be installed the same on turf as they were on grass. Will that be an easy fix, or something that might force the event to be moved?
Those who supported the turf now need to show that it is, in fact, something the entire community can enjoy. If more events are planned and more residents, even those who do not have children playing a sport, as able to enjoy the benefits of the new field, it might turn some skeptics into believers.
*If you're experiencing election withdrawal, and counting the day until November, you'll be happy to see the lead story on the front page of our website today (and the front page story in The Cheshire Herald tomorrow). That's right, election season has officially begun. The Democrats and Republicans announced their slates of candidates last night for what is always an interesting, and highly competitive season. While nationally it is considered an “off year,” since there is no Presidential election nor any major Senate and House races to watch, locally, this is the most anticipated time of the political cycle. Local representatives will begin to campaign for the right to either retain or win a seat on several local Boards and Commissions.
Yet, as the article in tomorrow's paper will point out, it is becoming more and more difficult to find people willing to volunteer their time to such positions in town. There is a lot of work involved for any member of local government, and most have to fit those duties in between their 9-to-5 job requirements. When someone is deciding whether or not to run, that usually tips the scale in the negative direction.
Those who do decide to run should be commended, and before anyone levies a rather harsh criticism towards a locally elected official, it should always be kept in mind that there is nothing in it for these volunteers other than the privilege of serving the community.
Yet, while each representative demands our respect, they also owe it to all to do the best job possible and, if they don't, to be held accountable. The decisions of the Boards and Commissions in town affect residents at times more than any actions taken by the more recognizable government officials in Hartford or Washington, D.C. Their volunteerism is laudable, but their correct judgement and complete commitment is required.
So, without further ado, let the political games begin. Well, maybe we can wait until the end of next month, right?