To the Editor:
I believe in the town meeting form of government. It has served our town very well for hundreds of years. The voters have the option to attend and voice their opinions and vote on the matters before a meeting.
As chairman of the Hull Redevelopment Authority in 1968, I was a central figure at the largest town meeting in our history – 1,645 voters. These voters were housed in various rooms at the Memorial School, where an assistant moderator presided. There was constant communication between those rooms and the moderator in the main hall.
Voters approved the urban renewal program at that meeting with a 90 percent favorable vote. It was a day to be remembered in Hull.
The following steps of the urban renewal program were initiated under my chairmanship: planning; staffing with only Hull residents; funding by the federal and state governments for millions of 1970s’ dollars; relocation of 125 people and numerous businesses; acquisition of 76 buildings and demolition of 75; one building was rehabilitated and given to the medical center for $1.
In conjunction with the urban renewal program, the federal government established a workable program. Every year the town had to make improvements in the community in order to be eligible to receive further federal funds.
One of the many improvements was a full-time building department and commissioner. It was my duty as chairman of the HRA to inform the town each year what improvements must be made.
The town also received community development funds for the whole town from the federal government. This money improved many neighborhoods in our community.
Charles E. Gould
Chairman, HRA 1965-1974