Meet in the Middle

[Then posted following this commentary: a rundown of the Enfield Town Board’s first meeting of 2022, including adoption of the Town’s Water Protection Law.]

Enfield Town Councilperson Robert Lynch, addressing his Town Board’s first meeting of the year, January 12, 2022, during the public’s Privilege of the Floor:

One year ago tonight—exactly one year—we held a meeting I’d rather forget, yet I cannot.  Because as President Biden said in a much different context six days ago: “Great nations:  They don’t bury the truth.  They face up to it.”

So, too, my colleagues, must great Towns.

I’m not proud of what happened here on January 12th, 2021… nor at a few other troubled meetings we’ve held this past year.  We can’t alter the truth of those nights.  We can only learn from them.  So I say, let’s go to school.

During the Christmas Holidays, some words quoted by my pastor caught my ear.  No, they’re not religious.  Instead, they’re drawn from an old country song of three decades ago.  I’ll quote them tonight, making a few creative adjustments along the way…

****

“It was seven hundred fence posts from your place to ours
Neither one of us was old enough to yet drive a car
Sometimes it was raining, sometimes it would shine
We wore out that gravel road between your house and mine

“I’d start walking your way
You’d start walking mine
We’d meet in the middle
‘Neath that old Georgia pine
We’d gain a lot of ground
‘Cause we’d both give a little
And their ain’t no road too long
When you meet in the middle

“It’s been a year or two tonight since we first said our vows
Under that old pine tree, you ought to see it now
Standing in the back yard reminding me and you
That if we don’t see eye to eye there’s something we can do

“I’d start walking your way
You’d start walking mine
We’d meet in the middle
‘Neath that old
Enfield pine
We’d gain a lot of ground
‘Cause we’d both give a little
And there ain’t no road too long
When you meet in the middle.”

Colleagues, my Town Board partners, let’s start walking that old Enfield gravel road tonight…. together.

Thank you.

****

Then, at the conclusion of the Enfield Board’s nearly three-hour inaugural January 2022 session—one in which Board members usually agreed, but occasionally did not— Councilperson Lynch (this writer) concluded:

“I began this meeting with a Privilege of the Floor to say let’s Meet in the Middle.  And I think we did a darned good job of doing that tonight.  We had healthy disagreement at times.  We settled things honorably and without rancor.”

A good start.  I’d say much better than last year.

Bob

###