Lorraine Mangione: Hope for Northampton’s new leader

Published: 9/25/2021 8:04:36 AM

So much has been said about the debacle on Warfield Place, a series of events that should remain as a source of both shame and deep self-reflection/self-critique for our city leaders and government for many years. The guest column from David Ball on Aug. 27 summed up a lot of it while looking to the future of our town.

I am also looking to the future, with hope, and thinking of my own neighborhood and how it can be so quickly taken away from us. My focus is more on the process of what happened, as this same process can occur again with differing content or specifics, in almost any area.

My hope is that our new mayor and the head of the Department of Public Works will lead with grace, compassion, caring, an actual belief in democracy, a sense of collaboration, an understanding of and belief in the critical nature of climate change, an openness to work through solutions to contentious issues, an understanding that they could actually make mistakes combined with the capacity to step back from defensiveness, a commitment to avoid and condemn autocracy and authoritarianism, an understanding of history in many countries and across many epochs and how past tyranny was developed and justified on the local level first, and, perhaps most of all, a basic sense of goodwill and community.

And for those of you who still feel the DPW can do no wrong, and has only the best interests of the city in mind, let me tell you many stories of Burts Pit Road for the last 30 years.

Lorraine Mangione


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