When the truth seems so elusive, who and what can we trust? In our day to day lives we learn who “has our back,” who is upfront, capable and steadfast. We learn to dismiss those who belie reason, question those who peddle self-serving falsehoods, turn away from those who deceive us. Removed often from our day to day concerns, the conduct of our elected leaders has a decisive impact on our lives. Thus, we should demand they practice reasoned, transparent dialogue and capable, representative governance; that they invite and respect our voices. Always, but especially now when truth can be so elusive.
Yet, regarding our beloved Montgomery Dam with the iconic falls and mill pond that it creates, the Camden Select Board is proving itself unworthy of our trust. They say the dam’s removal is necessary for stormwater management; that the dam could cause flooding in town—even though the top of the dam sits almost 8 feet below street level. They claim we must destroy the dam to reclaim upstream fisheries, when in fact, the climb from the harbor is too steep for native fish to navigate.
In recent Select Board discussion around the proposed Megunticook River restoration, the voice of a long-time Camden resident, indeed all our voices, were abruptly discarded. In an apparent frenzy to address whatever stormwater management problem the Select Board envisions, our town manager replied “[stormwater management] that’s really important, regardless of how you feel about any of the dams,” and “it really doesn’t matter if the public is not supportive of it.” Really?
Who can we trust? I believe we can trust logic along with our personal choice to reason. I believe we must seek differing points of view. One view we can trust comes from the Save the Dam Falls Committee—an earnest, studied group of Camden citizens advocating for preservation of our beloved Montgomery Dam and falls. But they can’t save our dam alone. Learn more, and act to determine our dam’s fate—or it all may be lost to us and future generations forever.
Shawn McBrien, Camden