[RICHARD] Can We Chill Out On The Golf Course Debate?
A proposal to convert a portion of the Whaling City Golf Course to an industrial or business park is being met with the same wall of resistance and resentment that most new ideas are greeted with in these parts.
Angry golfers and nearby residents flooded "The Whale" last night to state their outrage over the plan that would see the course shortened to nine holes while yielding acreage for business and office space that would generate new revenues for the city while creating new jobs.
Many of the concerns are legitimate ones. What would this project mean for property values nearby? Will the environment be protected? Would a 9 hole course be enough of an attraction to area golfers? And what about traffic? All good questions for sure. But, lets get rational. This project is in it's infancy at best and everyone agrees it is not a done deal by far.
Cooler heads must prevail and we need to have a reasonable discussion about how the golf course property can be best utilized to serve the entire community. Yelling and name-calling, while certainly the New Bedford way of approaching issues will not bring about the best results for everyone.
New Bedford folks are famous for demanding change yet are often reluctant to take the steps necessary to bring about that change. If this is not the best idea for New Bedford than so be it. But, lets not be quick to throw it out without fully vetting it.
Me thinks that if more people were using the golf course and the club house and were willing to pay more for it's upkeep that we wouldn't even be having this discussion today.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.