Mutter right on Monastery, conservation issues

Mutter right on Monastery, conservation issues

After reading Mr. Tom Letourneau’s negative letter to the editor (last week’s) Valley Breeze, I felt compelled to respond.

I attended the last meeting of the committee that was researching possible sites for the Public Safety Complex. The committee worked diligently; however, there was really only one possible site from the beginning. The mayor gave very stringent criteria to the committee – town owned property, 8 to 10 acres, centrally located.

The Monastery was the only property that met the mayor’s criteria. The current location where the new Public Safety Complex is being built (across from the current police station) was mentioned by a resident of the town. He was told that some of that land was private property and anyway, there wasn’t enough land – it didn’t meet the mayor’s criteria. Interesting…

I would like to publicly thank Mr. Jeff Mutter and the members of the Town Council that had the foresight to place a “Conservation Easement” that protected the Monastery property for the residents of the town and future generations. I would also like to thank the Friends of the Monastery for their work that demonstrated to the committee how many people enjoy the Monastery grounds as well as reminding them of the protective easement. My thanks also to the Sisters of Mercy who chose to sell Mercy Woods to the town with restrictive covenants. At the committee meeting a resident stated; “New York has Central Park. In Cumberland, we have the Monastery!” And now we can add Mercy Woods as well!

Mr. Letourneau brought up the Senior Center, and his desire that it remain on the Monastery property. When I have gone to the Monastery, I have found senior citizens enjoying the grounds – whether it is the walking trail, walking on the paved road, in the playground with grandchildren, or in the library. Yes, the senior citizens deserve a nice building for the Senior Center, and no, it does not have to be on the Monastery grounds – just like the Public Safety Complex and Town Hall do not have to be on the Monastery grounds in order to provide services to the town. Other town-owned land can be used to develop a new Senior Center, and done correctly the landscaping can provide an oasis of trees, bushes, and flowers.

I am supporting Jeff Mutter for mayor of the Town of Cumberland because I appreciate his love of Cumberland; the fact that he does not see only the here and now, but also thinks about the future of the town and the quality of life for all of its current residents and future generations. I appreciate his knowledge and experience of the town’s governance and his understanding of town politics. Mr. Mutter is someone who is willing to listen and to work with others to achieve a common objective. It is about time he finally runs for mayor! Please vote in the Sept. 12th primary and consider supporting Jeff Mutter, the endorsed Democratic candidate.

Camille Letourneau


Letourneau is not related to Tom Letourneau, who wrote last week.