The problem with the government is that it has no sense of proportion. Small problems easily escalate because the ‘powers that be’ take drastic action rather than sitting down with the parties involved and solving the problem. One recent example of that occurred in Carlisle, Massachusetts.
Carlisle, Massachusetts, is a small town of about 5,000 people located northwest of Boston. It was first settled in 1650. It is also the home of Great Brook Farm State Park, described at the New England Grown website as “Great Brook Farm State Park: Nature AND Ice Cream.” So what am I ranting about?
Yesterday the Lowell Sun (Lowell, Massachusetts) reported on recent events at the Ice Cream stand in the park:
Mark Duffy, who has operated the dairy farm at the state-owned park for 26 years and has a lease with the state to run the stand, said armed Environmental Police officers showed up at stand on Friday evening and stood guard throughout the weekend, turning away customers craving delectable sundaes and frappes.
To make matters worse, said Duffy, the shutdown happened right before the sunny Mother’s Day weekend.
Edward Lambert, commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, said the stand was closed after it was discovered construction had been done without local or state permits. The work, which expanded the stand, included construction on a barn built in 1910 that is adjacent to the stand, he said.
So what did Mr. Duffy do? According to the article:
Duffy offers guided barn tours at the farm from May to October. The building improvements in question were made to create an area to show an instructional video produced by the Massachusetts dairy industry, said Duffy.
I also live in a small town in Massachusetts. I totally understand the need for building permits–we have pulled permits when we have done work on our house. I also understand that depending on the nature of the work, an accord could probably have been reached without putting a man’s business in jeopardy. How many people will lose their jobs because someone did not take the time to negotiate before acting. In my humble opinion this looks to me as if someone used a nuclear weapon to kill a fly. It was totally unnecessary overkill.