The Hopkinton Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) was created to provide leadership and oversight in planning, design and development of a multiuse trail connecting Milford to Ashland. The idea is to connect the towns via an off-road, 6-mile trail using old Hopkinton railroad tracks.
The tracks, however, were purchased by individuals. To create a connection between the towns, negotiations are required. Some property owners have been cooperative, some have not.
For 10 years the UCTC has conducted its business according to regulations and conventions used by other Hopkinton volunteer committees, and posted information on the Hopkinton town website.
The UCTC, working with our town engineer, has evaluated multiple sections of possible routes.
Management of Hopkinton trails was assigned to the Trail Coordination and Management Committee (TCMC).
Differences of opinion about trail route, surface and users developed between the UCTC and TCMC. Instead of hammering out those differences, a power play commenced.
Town counsel determined that a citizen petition to disband the UCTC was not valid. The Town Meeting vote for this petition was taken at midnight, and 158 voted yes while 61 voted no. I was embarrassed that night at Town Meeting for the shameful way our town volunteers were treated.
The Select Board created a survey to determine the type of trail citizens preferred. I’m not sure how residents knew about the survey, only open until July 2. I was unable to submit the survey online. The paper copy was not an exact copy of the online version. Survey responses (135) were small. Survey questions were biased.
Select Board decisions regarding the future of the UCTC may reflect the views of a very small number of Hopkinton residents.
The Select Board suspended the UCTC, which prevented UCTC members from answering criticism. They have been prevented from providing correct information and from identifying lies.
The Select Board allowed divisions to fester and explode by shirking management responsibilities. Our town manager is qualified to manage the conflict. Why has he been prevented from doing so?
Why do I care? Because I want a multiuse trail in Hopkinton. I want a safe route for bikers and others that connects us with the existing Upper Charles Trail in Milford/Holliston and the developing trail in Ashland. It could also connect us to the growing East Coast Greenway. If you care, please let the Select Board know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
— Sally Snyder, Hopkinton (former Select Board member and spouse of a current UCTC member)
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