Editorial: Metacomet meanderings

Posted 4/22/21

For those who pay attention to such things, they'll have noticed we have not teed off over the last year now on matters pertaining to the Metacomet Country Club, Metacomet Golf Course, Metacomet …

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Editorial: Metacomet meanderings

Posted

For those who pay attention to such things, they'll have noticed we have not teed off over the last year now on matters pertaining to the Metacomet Country Club, Metacomet Golf Course, Metacomet whatever we're referring to it at this point.

When an issue becomes this contentious to some, it's better to leave it be, let the vitriol take place in the cesspool that is local social media. It does not aid in the discussion, at least one that attempts to be fruitful, to engage in what unfortunately all too soon becomes one of personal attacks and innuendo.

That's not to say we don't have an opinion. Of course we do, and our preferred option, though it isn't going to happen, would be for it to remain a "course," a full 18-hole golf course whether it be public or private.

That last word is key to any talk about Metacomet and one that has been sorely missing throughout the process over the last 12-plus months. Sure, Metacomet was "open" to the public, if you wanted to fork over about five grand a year and then some to be a member. No one from the neighborhood, city or anywhere else could freely enter and traipse about. It was "closed" to most of us, private property, which should be noted more often than it's been.

About the Marshall Properties proposals, we weren't a huge fan of their initial preferred option and certainly wouldn't have been in favor of "Plan B," which would have provided the city with little to no new revenue. What they presented to the council earlier this week (April 20 meeting) was a good starting point, one the body and the administration should strongly consider moving upon.

To the “Keep Metacomet Green” community group, take heart. You’re efforts haven’t been in vain. Even though it is unlikely the land you have so passionately argued should be left “open,” both in its ideal and to the public, your actions will have undoubtedly pushed those on both sides of the issue closer to a better result. You should be proud of your attempts and continue to be a part of the discussion.

Another quick point, Marshall nor any of the elected or appointed officials in city are the villains here. Marshall is a business trying to make money and the pols and employees are just attempting to make the system work.

If there are any "bad" guys, it's actually the members who ran Metacomet into the ground, some of whom ironically have had much negative to say about what Marshall has on offer. Their lack of acumen and foresight put the club in the tenuous, vulnerable position it was in the first place, and led to its eventual demise.

And as for eminent domain, absolutely not. It's been said by others more eloquently that we can here, but there aren't any real benefits to the city or the taxpayer for taking the property in that manner, financial or otherwise.

So, in the end, the best course of action as we see it is to plot a course that will keep Metacomet partially a golf course while setting both the owners and the city on a course of making something that is prosperous for all of us, if, of course, that's possible at this point.

"Fore, please." We're done teeing off on the Metacomet matter for now.

Editor’s note: The editorial as it appears here on eastbayri.com is slightly different than the one running in the April 22 print edition of The Post, which was abbreviated due to space considerations.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.