It All Starts Here: The Politics of Planning in a Small Town

Originally published in ArchitectureBoston

March 7, 2008
Elizabeth Padjen (Editor, ArchitectureBoston)

RJ Dourneyis the president of Hearthstone Associates, the New England franchisee of Let’s Dish! and Cosi. He
is vice chair of the Hopkinton Planning Board. Rick Holmesis the editor of the editorial page of the MetroWest Daily News. Chuck Josephis a principal of Re/Max Executive Realty in Hopkinton and five other MetroWest towns. A former history teacher in Hopkinton, he has served on a number of town committees. Muriel Krameris the chair of the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen. She has also served as the chair of the Master Plan Update Committee and a member of the Land Use Study Committee. Elaine Lazarusis the planning director of Hopkinton. Frederick MerrillAICP is a principal of Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts, and directed the East Hopkinton Master Plan. Elizabeth PadjenFAIA is the editor of ArchitectureBoston. Finley Perryis president of FH Perry Builder in Hopkinton. Most recently the chair of the town’s Land Use Study Committee, he has also served on the Conservation Commission and Board of Assessors. He is a director of the National Association of Home Builders and past president of Home Builders of Massachusetts. Christina (Tina) Rosan PhD is a post-doctoral fellow in the depar tment of urban studies and planning at MIT, and co-author with Lawrence Susskind of Land Use Planning in the Doldrums: Growth Management in Massachusetts’ I-495 Region(Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, September 2007).

Elizabeth Padjen: The architect James Barker, now president of Clemson University and the former director of the Center for Small Town Research at Mississippi State, once observed that many American small towns have what he called "covenants" — short tag lines that represent a town’s self-image, like "Turnip Capital of the World." Very often these covenants have no relationship to the present reality of the town. For example,
Danvers, Massachusetts, calls itself "Oniontown"; it was apparently the world’s largest producer of the "Danvers Onion" in the 19th century, but now it’s known more for its regional shopping centers and strip malls than for its farms. Does Hopkinton have its own covenant? And is there a disconnect between the idea of Hopkinton and its reality?
Finley Perry: The official tag line is "It all starts here," because of the Boston Marathon. But the reality is that almost nothing starts there.
Muriel Kramer: Small town with rural character — that’s how people see the town and what they value. Hopkinton doesn’t necessarily see itself very clearly as the growing community it really is.
Elizabeth Padjen: Chuck, you’re in real estate, so you talk to people who are looking for houses in town. What attracts them?
Chuck Joseph: That image of a small town with rural character — and great schools. But we didn’t always have great schools, and the correlation between the increase in the quality of the schools and the growth in the town is not happenstance. Make no mistake, Hopkinton would still be a very rural town if not for the Interstate Highway System: Route 495 and the Mass Pike put us on the map. In my business, the magic number is the 45-to-50- minute commute. And Hopkinton falls right on that edge, both for Boston and for Worcester.
Fred Merrill: As an outside observer who works in communities like Hopkinton across the state and around the country, I see a split between people who have been in Hopkinton a long time and want to hang on to the small-town character and the agricultural legacy, and some of the newer folks who have only seen it as a bedroom community. They have different images of the town and that creates an interesting tension between these two groups that gets played out in land-use planning strategies.
Elaine Lazarus: People have different set points along this continuum, depending on when they arrived. That set point establishes their view of the town. And a lot of people have arrived in the last 10 years.
Chuck Joseph: We did a study in 2002 that showed that over 50 percent of the people currently in Hopkinton had moved there in the previous five years. That was our boom period.
Elizabeth Padjen: In fact, the report that Tina co-authored indicates that between 1990 and 2000, the communities along the Route 495 beltway grew twice as fast as the greater Boston region as a whole.
Finley Perry: And as a result, the whole battlefield of land use, planning, and development has moved from the inner suburbs and the Route 128 area out to 495.
Elizabeth Padjen: I compiled a list of local news stories that provides a good snapshot of where Hopkinton stands. The biggest story is the proposal for the Weston Nurseries site: Legacy Farms, which would include over 900 housing units and 450,000 square feet of commercial space on 700-plus acres. The whole parcel represents about five percent of the town’s total land area. There is Chuck Joseph’s proposal for Hopkinton Square: 100,000 square feet of retail and office development. Another proposal, Hopkinton Village Center, would include 42,000 square feet of retail, office, and condos. The Toll Brothers development, Hopkinton Highlands, is close to completion. One proposal that was recently withdrawn would have provided 1,500 units of over-55 housing on 200 acres. At the same time, the town is facing financial challenges — a $2 million shortfall in town revenues. There’s an $8 million proposal to expand the library. The neighboring town of Ashland is concerned about its water sources and wants to protect part of the Weston Nurseries site. You have your own infrastructure issues. People complain about traffic. All these things indicate a lot of potential stress and a lot of potential change in a town that considers itself a rural community.
Muriel Kramer: I don’t think that sets us apart from other towns working with the same issues. The deficit in expected revenues and expected income is not unusual compared to what every town in Massachusetts is facing. In some ways, we’re better positioned because historically we tend not to get as much state aid, so we are not hurt as much when the state adjusts its aid formulas downward.
Tina Rosan: I think you’re right about that. But the big issue we found in the course of interviewing local planners and officials for our study was that, although these communities really do share similar problems, they’re each struggling with them on their own, each reinventing the wheel.
Fred Merrill: We’re what is called a "home-rule state," so each community has its own land-use, planning, and zoning controls. In New England, home rule is jealously guarded, so we do end up reinventing the wheel a lot. In other parts of the country, towns deal with a lot of these same issues — transportation, water, sewer, education — but they tend to work within a regional or sub-regional context. They can share a larger base, either geographic or socioeconomic. It makes a lot of sense because every town doesn’t need to have its own fire department, for example, or its own police department. Regionalization of schools can make sense. We don’t have any kind of regional planning at all in Massachusetts, which is unfortunate.
Elizabeth Padjen: Hopkinton, like many towns in this region, has a town-meeting form of government and relies on volunteer boards. Would anyone really design such a political system if the goals were growth and efficient land-use allocation?
Rick Holmes: One advantage of this system is that it can mean that a lot of people get involved in creating the future for a town. As someone who’s observed these issues for 20 years, I think Hopkinton is actually a very good example of a town that has grappled with growth issues pretty well through the volunteer form of government. When I arrived in the mid-’80s, Hopkinton was already talking about preserving its rural character. In fact, it was doing more than just talking — it was doing studies and appointing committees and saying, "What is rural character? Can we define it?" "Well, it’s the stone walls." "So, can we protect the stone walls?" Even in the mid-’80s, it was the fastest-growing town in eastern Massachusetts by some measures. But the people in Hopkinton were dealing with this head-on, rather than sitting back and complaining about some county government that was messing things up.
Elizabeth Padjen: But is it a problem to find people to participate and serve on boards?
Muriel Kramer: It typically is not a problem, although sometimes it’s a little harder to encourage people to run for elected office. One of the things that astonishes me and is to our credit is that the schools were turned around principally on volunteer energy. An army of people — parents and others — just came out and created a system of volunteerism that not only raised a lot of money but also created programs and then supported those programs. What I see as the challenge is to be able to focus that same energy on land planning. It’s easier when you’re talking about excellence in schools; folks can easily understand and rally around that goal. The challenge we have in land planning is with visioning, that ability to see how all the pieces can work together — for example, how economic development can work with conservation and preservation. It can be hard to get people to imagine how all those pieces, that might seem divergent, might work toward a unified whole.
RJ Dourney: Just because you have a resource available doesn’t necessarily mean that it is being used efficiently. We have some great people in town, smart people whom we could never afford to hire as consultants. There are many folks who volunteer a lot. But the challenge over the next three to five years will be to engage more of the new folks who have moved into town over the last 10 years — to take advantage of them as a resource.
Rick Holmes: In New England, decisions are made by the people who show up for meetings. That’s not necessarily true in other places, where they hire folks to make the decisions. The problem is you can have a real gap between the people who come to meetings and arrive at a consensus and the people who don’t. It’s still a minority of folks who actually show up.
Tina Rosan: The bigger problem, beyond volunteerism, is the next step — implementation. In all the communities we studied, people spend hours at meetings putting together master plans. But it often turns out that, in order to get everybody’s opinion represented in the master plan, it ends up being pretty vague and doesn’t hold up when you need a two-thirds majority at Town Meeting. Massachusetts towns also tend to lack consistency between zoning and master planning — new zoning is rarely adopted to reflect a master plan. Even the best volunteers can’t fix that, because that’s really a political problem.
Finley Perry: I’m always amazed by how much actually does get done. In a democracy, it’s very easy to stop something but it’s hard to get something done. When you add a two-thirds vote on top of that, it just becomes that much more difficult.
Chuck Joseph: Hopkinton is a little different from some of the neighboring towns — for a very hot Town Meeting, we might pull 1,800 people; other towns might get 250. People who have been engaged in the community tend to recruit the next generation. The high-school civics classes have to go to town meetings — there’s a lot to be said for that. Local-access cable television provides terrific coverage of public meetings. But right now, many of us who’ve been doing this for 20 years or so are very concerned: the 30-to-45-year-old age group is not stepping up to the volunteer plate. I don’t know if that’s a generational difference. When we got involved, we all had kids and we were all too busy, but we just did it. It’s not happening in the same way right now.
Tina Rosan: There is another possible explanation. Maybe those people who’ve moved into Hopkinton for the good schools and the moderately priced homes really don’t care if they live in Hopkinton or the next town over, as long as they can get to Boston in 40 minutes. And maybe they’re not there for the long haul.
Elizabeth Padjen: How much do the town’s fiscal challenges drive the growth debate? Are people willing to give up some of the rural character that they hold so dear in order to get more of a commercial tax base that might offset rising property taxes?Muriel Kramer: I think people are aware that they have decisions to make. But the Legacy Farms opportunity offers a new way of thinking about growth. We all at this table have our different focuses and advocacy positions, but we all have been closely engaged in and energized by the process for planning the future of the Weston Nurseries site. We understand that it’s what we have to do in order to stay vibrant and economically sound. I’m not sure that the community understands how growth can be done differently and how it can work to our advantage. Their taxes have gone up and there are stresses. Some people see growth only as the cause of all that pressure and discomfort — all those schools we had to build.
Fred Merrill: That’s what’s so amazing about having this large piece of land available. It’s huge by eastern Massachusetts standards — 728 acres. And it can be a showcase for large-scale land-planning that addresses all these issues through smart-growth strategies, that demonstrates how growth can be fiscally, environmentally, and socioeconomically positive. In a region where a 50-acre development is considered big, this is off the charts.
Rick Holmes: And that’s part of what makes it scary to people. There are still a lot of people out there — I would guess between 40 and 60 percent of the town — whose first choice would be to turn back the clock. Their second choice would be to stop the clock and change nothing from here on out. Their third choice is to do it as
slowly as possible, at the greatest possible expense to the developer.
Elaine Lazarus: As the town’s only professional planner, sometimes I feel overwhelmed, not because of the work, but because of the difficulty in translating what everyone feels, both positive and negative, into a plan. People are willing to have more development for economic reasons, but they also want high quality from it. And the planning professionals who try to implement what the town wants need political cover as they try
to listen and translate what they’re hearing.

RJ Dourney: Rick was right when he said 40 to 60 percent of the people in town would either want to roll back the clock or stop time right now. But that also means that 40 to 60 percent want to move the town forward. Those are diametrically opposed views of what to do in the same situation, and that’s what Elaine is contending with. On the one hand, you have the folks who remember riding snowmobiles through town and complain that the police won’t let them do that anymore. And on the other are the people who want to know why they can’t have a Bertucci’s and a Whole Foods downtown.
Muriel Kramer: The challenge is to have a conversation between those two. I believe that there’s a way to develop Legacy Farms so it has some of the best from both sides of that dynamic. But does everybody understand that no one is going to get everything they want? That’s the piece that worries me.
Chuck Joseph: One of the things you cannot underestimate is the level of schizophrenia within individuals in a community. Every survey that’s been done shows the same response: "We need non-residential tax revenue." But that’s quickly followed by the don’t-wants: "We don’t want big-box stores. We don’t want chains. We don’t want industrial." It’s very hard for communities to determine their margin of tolerance — finding the balance that is enough to keep property taxes reasonable without losing things that are important to them.
Rick Holmes: There was a proposal to rezone from residential to commercial for exactly that purpose. It went through the committee process, and everybody who was at the final meeting said, "Yes, we’ve got to do this." Then it went to Town Meeting and it died.
RJ Dourney: That is why one of the key issues that needs to be addressed in Hopkinton over the next few years is the leadership that exists within the community. There are people representing different points of view who are considered by their constituents to be voices of reason. Those voices have to be willing to reel their own constituents in. They have to work out the compromises and talk to their constituents. And in so doing, we create reason. And with enough reasonable voices, people will say, "You know what? I am going to listen to the other side. It doesn’t have to be only my way or the highway."
Fred Merrill: That’s what the East Hopkinton master plan strategy was all about: trying to strike that balance of development and conservation with mixed-use development that would be fiscally positive and still provide meaningful open space.
Elizabeth Padjen: What was the process that led to that master plan?
Finley Perry: The stone that dropped into our quiet pond was an e-mail in February 2005 announcing the public offering of the Weston Nurseries property. The town selectmen established a special committee, the Land Use Study Committee, to look at the town’s rights and how we might best position the town in the sale and development process. When it became clear by the winter of 2006 that a sale wasn’t going to happen quickly, we decided to hire a professional planner. Elaine wisely urged us to look beyond the Weston property at all of East Hopkinton, where there are several parcels that might similarly be targeted for sale and development. Concurrently, MAPC [Metropolitan Area Planning Council] did a regional study, which Fred and his colleagues at Sasaki were able to take advantage of, and a team of students from MIT conducted another study. Interestingly, they all came to similar conclusions. Sasaki’s master plan was finished in spring 2007 at the same time as the sale of the property to Roy MacDowell’s firm, Boulder Capital.
Elizabeth Padjen: How close is the master plan to the Legacy Farm plan? How much negotiation is the town facing?
RJ Dourney: First, Sasaki’s package was not a defined master plan. It was understood to be a framework for development. I think Boulder Capital did the right thing — they took clear cues from the community and said that they would use the Sasaki document as a road map. Are there interpretations? Absolutely. Make no mistake, they will do what is financially necessary, because on the back end of all this, they’re a business. Along the way, we have the Zoning Advisory Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Planning Board, that is shepherding this process and working with Boulder. Eventually, we hope to take something to Town Meeting that might not be exactly what anybody wanted, but is very much in line with the vision that we’ve created.
Elizabeth Padjen: And ultimately, in terms of process, what exactly will be taken to Town Meeting?
Muriel Kramer: The zoning certainly will be. The master plan that will be attached to that zoning is a separate product of the planning board, through a public-hearing process.
RJ Dourney: We wrestled with this process, which could be overwhelming. The town has to trust that the planning board will make sure that the master plan for Legacy Farms matches the community’s intentions. But the key is the Town Meeting vote on the zoning change. Because without any zoning changes, Roy MacDowell could build whatever he wants to build.
Finley Perry: This was the real purpose behind the Land Use Study Committee once we realized the town couldn’t buy the property. What could we do to control it? The first goal was to try to let the development community know what kind of a buyer we were going to accept. And I think we were successful in getting the right buyer. The second was to communicate what we wanted the buyer to build. Now we’re going through the messier process of getting from a general concept to a specific plan.
Muriel Kramer: I think we all have confidence in the intellectual process. My concern still rests with that emotional process, to actually trigger the vote and make it happen. That’s where a lot of work still has to happen. That’s our biggest challenge.
Fred Merrill: If you use the planning process as a deliberate educational process, which I think the town has done really well, you build trust as well as new ways of seeing things. That can facilitate a more meaningful dialogue. Some people will never change their minds, of course, but a lot of people will.
Elizabeth Padjen: Thinking about your experience in other communities, Fred, do you see any sticking points here that are different from sticking points in other towns?
Fred Merrill: I think the people in Hopkinton are a lot more engaged. There’s a lot more passion and a lot of people who really care, which is great. But the issues really aren’t any different: it’s development versus non-development, and the fiscal challenges. Everybody has those. There are the growth and no-growth constituencies. But here there’s an opportunity to achieve some of the larger community goals around tax-base issues and commercial development, and do it in a new way, a way that can be designed to look different and meet the quality issues that the town is concerned about, because the site is large enough to
support first-class work.
Elaine Lazarus: I think the level of emotion makes it all the more important that people are proud of the final outcome. Growth can have a negative connotation — for all the discussions about "smart growth," I prefer to think of it as "smart change." Change is hard for people, so to whatever extent it can be made easier,
more gentle, more inclusive, people can come to understand and trust everyone who’s working on it.
Finley Perry: What’s going to make this thing work is whether we can successfully engage with one another in a way that allows us to make intellectual tradeoffs, rather than emotional tradeoffs.
Rick Holmes: You can have a lot of smart, dedicated people coming together in the middle, negotiating tradeoffs, and coming up with a good plan. But Hopkinton is a small town, and like small towns anywhere, personalities get involved — friendships, economic interests, loyalties. Sometimes, just when you’ve got all the pieces moving together and you think something’s going to happen, someone will come out of left field — someone who is really mad at somebody else who happens to be in favor of this thing, so he’s against it. That can muddy the water, and it’s happened over and over again in Hopkinton.
Tina Rosan: You’re not going to get many more 700-acre opportunities, so at some point, you have to look over to your neighbors, and say, "Maybe we don’t all need to have commercial and office development. Maybe we could share some revenue." That seems to be the case in other places I’ve studied, where they have started doing revenue tax sharing across municipal lines. Right now, it seems as if each one of these communities around 495 has to have its own portfolio of residential, office, and commercial, and it seems really unsustainable.
RJ Dourney: Where have you seen that work?
Tina Rosan: Denver is one example. The cities of Denver and Aurora are sharing revenue on the $1.5 billion High Point project. One key difference in many other states is the way that schools are financed, which affects planning choices. Here, towns have zoned bigger lots in part to keep out families who will drain fiscal resources.
Rick Holmes: So our tax policy drives bad land-use decisions.
Tina Rosan: The school systems in Oregon and Colorado, for example, depend much more on state financing. In other states, communities are not as afraid of residential development bringing in more school-aged children and increasing property taxes.
RJ Dourney: Are you familiar with Vermont’s process for revenuesharing? It’s affectionately referred to as the "Robin Hood tax," whereby the more affluent communities have a higher property tax rate than the poorer communities. So one town might pay $20,000 a year in taxes for the average house, most of which revenue goes to the next town, which is a poorer community where taxpayers pay less. Certainly the poor communities benefit. But you have towns talking about secession. It doesn’t work. But the notion of banding together to buy together makes economic sense.
Chuck Joseph: I agree that the Vermont system is too radical to overlay here. But that doesn’t mean the larger idea isn’t worth discussing. You could probably succeed with talking about four small-town fire departments sharing a ladder truck. You can start by taking baby steps, getting people used to the idea that this regionalization thing is not necessarily bad, and picking your early battles carefully to make sure they’re successful. The political reality is that it’s sometimes a monumental task to move long-held attitudes.
Tina Rosan: The other way is to push it down from the state level by mandating certain requirements.
Rick Holmes: Or to change the incentives. If the state changed its tax policy so that we weren’t as dependent on the property tax to fund the schools, you would change the housing equation. It’s simple: towns don’t want more residential subdivisions because they don’t want to pay for the schools for those families. All of that comes from the state tax policy.
Elizabeth Padjen: Here is a quotation from Tina’s study: "Because increases in state aid have not kept pace with increasing costs, all the communities in this study area have increasingly relied on property taxes to fund local services. When adjusted for inflation between 1988 and 2005, property taxes paid by local residents in the case-study communities increased by between 35 and 123 percent." Of course, property values have increased, too, in that time, but if your plan is to stay put for the long haul, the tax bill matters more than the assessment.
Rick Holmes: We haven’t talked about what’s happened to housing prices in Hopkinton over the last 10 years. Most of us can’t afford to live in Hopkinton any more. People who rent in Hopkinton can’t afford to buy houses there. So the question is whether Hopkinton can create affordable-housing opportunities.
Elizabeth Padjen: What is the affordable-housing percentage in town?
Elaine Lazarus: It’s 3.1 percent. We adopted an inclusionary housing bylaw this year, so we hope that percentage will go up over time.
Elizabeth Padjen: Do you know what the median house value is?
Chuck Joseph: It’s just under $500,000. And it’s interesting to note that Boulder currently is not proposing any more than 40 or 50 single-family homes for Legacy Farms. They’re virtually all condominium cluster homes.
Muriel Kramer: There was some discussion in town about rental solutions to tackle the affordable-housing problem, but there wasn’t a lot of receptivity. People would look at it, they’d poke a stick at it, they’d contemplate how it could be beneficial. But they didn’t really want to take the chance on rental units.
Chuck Joseph: We do have a very progressive piece of workforcehousing zoning that nobody’s ever taken advantage of. It provides for small houses on quarter-acre lots. But you can’t build it without a public sewer or a treatment plant, and we have no public sewer. I would love to be able to go in and build some workforce housing, but I haven’t found a way to make it work economically. But we could do some great things downtown, if some things got rezoned — even if it was just residential rezoning and not commercial.
RJ Dourney: Conceptually, everybody likes the idea of affordable housing: my first house is here, the fireman can live here, the rich guy down the street can live here. But the reality is that not everybody’s comfortable with the notion of an apartment or condo complex right behind them.
Finley Perry: And that brings us to 40B [a state law allowing developers to bypass local zoning if 25 percent of their units are designated "affordable" in a town with a housing stock that is less than 10 percent affordable]. But 40B is intellectually wrong. It turns the political discussion from housing affordability to gaming the system. We tend to think only in terms of how we’re going to comply with its requirements. Or how we are going to
dodge the possibility that 40B developers will come in and pretty much do what they want. That’s not really solving the problem. There are lots of places in Hopkinton that are in fact affordable, but they’re not counted in the affordable inventory. The goal should not be compliance with 40B, but creating a diverse housing stock that achieves the kinds of goals it is supposed to represent.
Chuck Joseph: I think that’s a political question. Because right now, it still comes back to families with children and the perception that we’re going to have to build more schools. That may change, in which case the whole conversation may change. Some towns have come to a point of maturation where school population is pretty stable. Our school population is actually going down now.
Rick Holmes: Looking at the political lay of the land over the next year, and assuming that you will go to Town Meeting with a new zoning bylaw for Legacy Farms, do you see alternatives? Is there an "or else" scenario that you’ll put before the town? That’s where 40B comes in — it’s often the "or else."
RJ Dourney: There is an "or else." It’s an enormous "or else." It’s called "by-right use." Boulder can build 350 or so single-family houses if it wants to. Or, say, 200 single-family houses in a 40B development.
Chuck Joseph: Or any combination thereof. That’s the sword of Damocles hanging over Town Meeting. Whether or not it gets clearly articulated is another issue.
Rick Holmes: Do you guys play on that as you’re promoting the alternative? Or does that get to be fear-mongering?
Elaine Lazarus: I don’t think we should be afraid of 40B.
RJ Dourney: Maybe not 40B, but I do think people need to be aware of by-right use of that land. I think the worse-case scenario for most people would be 350 single-family homes on acre-anda- half lots sprawled all over that beautiful landscape.
Muriel Kramer: Let me play devil’s advocate, though. That scenario is what people understand. It’s where they live. They choose sprawl for themselves and their families. It’s what people are comfortable with.
RJ Dourney: But sprawl in this region will only get worse unless we change our mindset. Hopkinton benefited from its location — companies like EMC looked at the intersection of 495 and the Mass Pike and said, bingo. And they could find all their $25,000- to-$50,000-a-year employees in a region where they could all afford to live. Now, a lot of people can’t afford to live anywhere east of 495. So where are they moving? They’re moving out beyond Hopkinton to points west. EMC has been a great corporate citizen — it’s not intrusive and it’s been very
supportive of town organizations and programs. But the fact is that a lot of its employees can’t afford to live here anymore.
Finley Perry: And that’s the conundrum for a lot of towns in this region: they all want to have an EMC in town, but they don’t want the employees to live there, because of the burden on the school systems. But if they live someplace else, they create traffic nightmares on 495.
Muriel Kramer: So we need to be able to answer how having the employees living here with their families works for us, and how we can manage the traffic. I frankly don’t know how to answer that question when it’s asked of me. Some choices affect some people adversely, and I think we haven’t necessarily acknowledged that sufficiently. We need to have more conversations that start, "You’re right. But this community really needs this. How do we make it work?" I don’t know what those answers are, but we have to hear people and engage them, not just listen to them and then show them the door. We have to answer some of these challenges. Their problems have to be our problems, too.
RJ Dourney: It’s a question of leadership. We have a responsibility to step up to our constituents and say, "Look, stop throwing marbles at the feet of this. You may not like it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad for the community. We’re going to do what’s morally and ethically right. We’re going to make integrity-based decisions." As leaders, we’ve got to be able to say that. Sometimes you’ve got to tell people what they don’t want to hear.