Letter: Trust must preserve integrity of Mount Hope Farm

Posted 6/3/21

The article in last week’s Phoenix (“Mount Hope Farm working to right wrongs”) about the Mount Hope Farm Trust failure to follow state and local ordinances was especially concerning …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Letter: Trust must preserve integrity of Mount Hope Farm

Posted

The article in last week’s Phoenix (“Mount Hope Farm working to right wrongs”) about the Mount Hope Farm Trust failure to follow state and local ordinances was especially concerning because the Trust is a community supported nonprofit that holds the property in trust for the public for the purpose of preserving its historic structures and landscapes.

Whether or not the Board of the Trust did not know what was going on as major construction projects were carried out, there are serious governance issues that need to be addressed to maintain public confidence. As a supporter of the Trust, I think a public explanation is needed, including what measures have been put into place to prevent a recurrence.

The town also has a responsibility to consider the coming review of proposed work and master plan in the proper context. Mount Hope Farm is an historic cultural landscape with layers of significance, from Native American use through the “Gentlemen Farm” period of the Haffenreffers.

Changes to the landscape and new buildings need to be considered in terms of what is significant from each period of occupation and what the impact of those changes will be. It should not be a simple case of “If you want to build something, just put it into the plan.” Given what has just happened, such an analysis appears not to have been done, even though it is essential for the Trust’s mission, and the Town should insist upon it as part of a responsible decision-making process.

Eric Hertfelder
Bristol

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.