Friday, July 17, 2009

Store update and meditations on community identity

We are still hoping to pursue mediation with our neighbor to gain clarity and resolution. Before we make a final decision regarding the store, it is a conversation that needs to happen. If anyone thinks they can bring him to the table, please don't hesitate to reach out. My understanding is that his complaints stem largely from the Town of Richmond's response to his expressed interest in the property some years ago. He was given a different set of responses from the town than we were. The apparent inequity in that generated his frustration. On that point I can certainly empathize, although I perceive it to be a matter of inconsistency rather than inequity. Richmond has its own interests to protect, and we cannot fault them, provided they do their work openly and honestly.

It is truly unfortunate, but it seems that our store has fallen into the political crossfire of agendas and egos. So many towns in Vermont build their community brand around agrarian roots, rural traditions and artisanal culture. What is the Richmond brand-politics and rumor? How can a genuine identity be realized if the individuals who step out and step up to promote community are ignored or subject to overreaching authority?

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