Yesterday I stated that converting a portion of The Whaling City Golf Course to a business Park was an idea worthy of consideration. I still believe that. However, several things have been brought to light since I made that proclamation that need to be taken into consideration.

After posting my view on the proposed business park here yesterday I discovered that there appears to be little support in the community for this idea. At least from those who posted replies or connected with me through other means. Any plan involving the golf course, which is considered public park land, should be vetted through public hearings and perhaps even put to a ballot vote this Fall.

Perhaps more concerning is that members of the city's Park Board tell WBSM News that they had no prior knowledge of the Mitchell Administration's plans for the conversion.  Chairman Peter Boswell going so far as to tell News Director Taylor Cormier that he was "blindsided," having heard about it on the 4pm WBSM news on Wednesday afternoon.  He says, "We’d like to be involved in the decision-making process.” WBSM News is reporting that the planning process for the conversion dates back to January of this year, apparently under a cloak of secrecy.

Boswell says his primary concern would be the loss of limited green space should the golf course be replaced by a business park. He told Cormier, “The wasting of the green space; another industrial park for out-of-town people to come and work in a factory for five years and have it close and split.”

The Mitchell Administration is wrong to plan a conversion of the golf course without informing the public and the Park Board. It seems as though this administration continues to prefer to play things close to the vest which is not always in the best interest of the citizens or the city.

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.

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