To the Editor:
My name is Domenico Sestito and I am member of the Select Board, and have had the honor and privilege of serving since 2008. I am responding to Jim Tobin’s March 18 Letter to the Editor, entitled “A Summer of Discontent Awaits if Selectmen Shut Down the HRA Lots,” as a private citizen, as I didn’t discuss this with my Select Board colleagues.
With respect, I disagree with Mr. Tobin’s statements, accusations, and status-quo view of the Hull Redevelopment Authority and our community. The town of Hull has been discovered, it has become an extremely popular destination in the summer months, and we are overwhelmed with the volume of visitors in the DCR area, HRA area, and in the residential areas.
I voted against any parking in the HRA and temple lot as the quality of life for the residents is the number-one priority for me. The residents have slowly been losing their quality of life over the last decade, and we are now, in my opinion, at a breaking point. We need bold, non-status-quo policies to begin to slowly shift the quality of life back to the residents.
Back in March, the Hull Chief of Police presented to the Board of Selectmen that he recommended against parking for HRA, as the volume of cars is too much for our roads and personnel to handle. The Board of Selectmen was presented with a strong opinion from the Chamber of Commerce that HRA parking was critical for businesses. I challenge the Chamber’s opinion with respect. Has the Chamber factored in the traffic of the summer? For example, I know many residents I speak with will not go to our local business as they do not want to be stuck in traffic.
Mr. Tobin commented, “For those selectmen who want to close down the HRA parking lot as an experiment to teach the ‘out-of-towner’ what it may look like in the future, I say they are being short-sighted, irresponsible, and just plain mean to the people who help our businesses stay sustainable. They should be ashamed of themselves.” With respect, prioritizing the residents’ quality of life is not mean, not short-sighted and not irresponsible.
In addition, I would challenge Mr. Tobin’s comments to say that one vendor each year making a profit, the HRA (which has been in existence for 60+ years) making a profit, and an unacceptable quality of life for the taxpayers and residents of Hull is not more important than the benefit of a small few.
I would challenge Mr. Tobin again in his comments that “Some selectmen are not the pro-business people we think they are. Saying so does not make it true; it’s the action you take the tells the real truth. Don’t listen to what they say, but watch what they do.” The action taken has been the status quo for decades – hire a vendor to bring in hundreds and hundreds of cars, leave trash on the beach, create traffic that cripples our town to benefit a small select few at the cost of the quality of life of 10,500 taxpayers and residents.
Hull is different now, it’s been discovered, old policies don’t work anymore, and the qualify of life for the taxpayers is the number-one priority for any elected official, the Select Board and HRA.
This town deserves better. Traffic and status-quo mindset will not move Hull forward. I will continue to advocate for the quality for life for Hull taxpayers and residents, and I encourage you all to do the same.
Make your voices heard, email the Select Board, HRA, and other town officials to let them know your opinions.
Domenico Sestito is an elected member of the Hull Select Board. The official name of Hull’s governing body was changed at the most recent town meeting from Board of Selectmen to Select Board. Tobin’s letter was published in the Times when ‘selectmen’ was still in use, which is why both terms are referenced in Sestito’s letter. – Ed.