Letter to the editor of the Times Argus by Dan Breslaw of West Corinth: I hear a lot of arguments over whether the government or the private sector should be planning our future. What I like best about the Working Landscape bill now before the Legislature is it that it’s a partnership between the two. It asks government to facilitate the kind of economic development that benefits us all, but that only private citizens can carry out. That sounds like a reasonable compromise, especially given the two extremes: the pastoral fantasy on the one hand; unlicensed moneymaking on the other.
It’s important to remember that this Vermont landscape we all love so much wasn’t created by a set designer. It was created by farmers, loggers and a lot of others just trying to make a living. That’s OK, but the making of a living has to make sense for everybody, including our grandchildren.
To me, big-box stores and subdivisions spread out over the landscape just don’t make much sense, except for the corporations pushing them. They’re going to make even less sense as we confront a future of much greater limits than we’re used to. Our real future actually lies with those small farms and woodlots and local businesses we all cherish.
But if those enterprises can’t make it in today’s economy, then they won’t even be around in the future. So like most things, it’s all about compromise. It’s about taking the goal of sustainability out of the realm of fantasy and putting it into the context of economic development. That’s what this bill begins to do, which is why it’s the most sensible investment we can make in our future right now.
To me, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Just find the money, guys.