Letter: Turf issues pit generations against one another

To the Editors:
Not in our family-friendly Wilton! Let me back up for those who weren’t at the Sept. 14 Planning and Zoning meeting.
Wilton has been trying to install a new cost-effective turf field and lights at Middlebrook. The town said there would be savings from the decreased maintenance. So a cost-effective improvement that increases enjoyment and makes Wilton a better place to live; what could possibly be wrong with that? The project has been delayed by a small minority of mostly elderly residents on a “not in my backyard” campaign.
One opponent asked many questions but let me share his best question. He said the field was a safety hazard because kids would not be able to see the top of a ball 60 feet in the air. Last time I checked no one can see the top of a ball 60 feet off the ground! You can’t make this stuff up.
Then there is the red herring attempt to use “safety.” Wilton has two turf fields that are doing fine. Today athletes compete on turf at both home and away games. Every town has a turf complex! Bottom line, those using “safety” as an excuse are over 65 and will never have their kids on the field. No one cares more about a child’s safety than parents and there is overwhelming parental support. Clearly that alone should answer the safety question.
One commissioner is concerned about the lights interfering with night bird migrations. If you are concerned about this issue you should vote for the proposal as the new lighting system will reduce the lighting spillage by 90%.
Another commissioner is very concerned about the economics when other town boards have clearly said a donated field that has lower operating costs is a net positive to the town.
Maybe this is what happens when not enough new people volunteer to serve on committees. [Maryli] Secrest (DTC) and [Al] Alper (RTC) have to fill positions with those who raise their hands. I’m guilty as charged myself for not volunteering.
What is this really about? It’s about a few elderly individuals who live next to the school who don’t want activities for kids to take place. If you buy a house next to the school you have no right to complain about the kids. We’re talking about thousands of kids benefiting vs. a handful of people complaining.
The committee is composed of volunteers and I have to think they are trying to do the best job they can — just somewhere in the process they went down the rabbit hole and can’t find their way back.
I’m not running for office (clearly) but I’m calling it as I see it.
One suggestion for the chairman, who has done well trying to keep on track. Hold your next meeting at  Middlebrook so all the kids can come watch their town government in action and see how a small group of seniors is literally waging war on the town’s youth.
Jeff Farrar
Wilton, Sept. 23