When asked how many in the crowd of more than 400 people at the Friends of Sandown Community Farm information meeting last Wednesday were in favour of the proposal, an overwhelming majority raised their hands. Dozens spoke in favour and only three raised possible objections — two of them prefacing their concerns by saying they are in favour of the proposal. One even said, “I think everyone is.”
Councillors Ted Daly and Dunstan Browne preface their remarks in council with similar statements of support for the Sandown proposal before voting against any actions that would move it forward in a meaningful way. They also speak in opposition to a covenant that would set this land aside for agriculture in perpetuity, but do not give clear reasons why they think land to be used for agriculture now will not be needed to grow food later, when the population will have increased and demand on global food supplies will have ballooned.
One of the most important messages coming from the community meeting was this: Even people who are against the proposal are for it. Those councillors who say they’re in favour need to vote accordingly and quit wasting time, money, and the patience of the Randall family. We cannot afford to lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.