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EDITORIAL: Release Secret Boynton Meadows Documents, Reanimate Town Affordable Housing Initiatives

Townspeople have the right to understand how $400,000 of taxpayer money was lost on the Boynton Meadows project. The Community Preservation Committee has exhausted their authority to demand the documents release by the Affordable Housing Trust. Now it is time for the Select Board to step in and resolve this impasse and secure release of the Secret Boynton Meadows financial documents.
     The Select Board has the power and legal resources to work with the Affordable Housing Trust members to understand and resolve any legal impediments preventing them from doing the right thing. Since the Affordable Housing Trust is an appointed board, the Select Board has the power to remove non-compliant members and replace them with those who will release the documents if the Trust continues to refuse to cooperate.
     Now is the time for the Select Board to fulfill their fiduciary and institutional duty to get to the bottom of what happened at Boynton Meadows, as unpleasant as the task may be.
     The purpose of the Affordable Housing Trust is to create housing opportunities in town, benefitting low and moderate-income households. Without an air-clearing examination of what happened at Boynton Meadows, The Affordable Housing Trust is hamstrung and cannot fulfill their mission. It is up to the Select Board to clear up this bottleneck so The Housing Trust can resume work toward meeting the town’s objective of producing more reasonably-priced housing.
     Besides the Affordable Housing Trust, Groton has three other committees that have responsibility for housing: The Housing Partnership, The Housing Authority and the Planning Board. All these boards and committees are supposedly working on housing affordability and availability in town. Despite these committees focus on housing, little seems to be happening.
     While the town aggressively and creatively pursues more opportunities to secure open space, our housing initiatives are uninspired, lacking in vision, and moribund.
     The Select Board needs to reanimate the town’s commitment to reasonably priced housing options. It’s time to remove roadblocks, blow out stale ideas, and inject fresh energy toward mitigating the town’s housing problem.
     Let them start by releasing the secret Boynton Meadows documents.
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