To the Editor:
Written in the town’s bylaws, a predominant feature of Hopkinton’s integrity and character is found in its resistance to fast food companies and the ban of drive-thrus. Growing up in the town, the food industry I was surrounded with only consisted of local, small-named restaurants that encouraged me to make intelligent food choices and prevented me from being exposed to the unhealthy, dangerous temptations of the fast food industry.
A previous legal battle was fought between Dunkin’ Donuts and the town, ultimately resulting in the building of the new Dunkin’ on West Main Street under the idea that it should be considered a “retail” enterprise rather than one of “fast food” nature. The past is the past, and cannot be changed, but the idea lays in front of us townspeople to consider what this means for the culture and economic decisions of Hopkinton. If Dunkin’ may be installed as a “retail” enterprise, what stops McDonald’s from doing the same? Wendy’s? Taco Bell? This domino effect will topple down on the bylaws until their impact is utterly insignificant.
It’s clear that the sole implementation of a Dunkin’ building will not deteriorate the business model of our town, but it is the piggybacking effect it will have in the future that poses a chance for significant change. The point of this letter is to spark a thought in the minds of families living in the town. It seems as though we, as a community, are beginning to fall into the overly common habit of, in a sense, purchasing items off a value menu and choosing the businesses that are cheap and efficient rather than those most beneficial for the community.
— Makenzie Gorman, Hopkinton