To those filing lawsuits, I urge you to let the hotel and parking garage project continue. Along with needed parking and lodging, this project includes land and river cleanup — improvements for which there are no other timely, viable plans on the table.
Earnest disagreement is an important part of democracy. The city has done everything it can to be compliant, transparent and communicative. Montpelier’s business proprietors and a majority of voters support this project. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough.
For now, Montpelier’s lack of hotel rooms meant my out-of-town family gathered elsewhere. Hilton Honors’ members show affinity for the brand. When my husband and I travel and can’t find locally owned lodging, we rely on Hampton Inn and other Hilton properties.
Clients of our small business appreciate our driveway and comment on the difficulty of parking downtown. A recent friends’ lunch downtown started late due to several minutes driving around hunting for parking spots. “Shoulding” people about driving as they search for spaces won’t change their behavior now, but likely erodes goodwill and alienates potential allies of the longer-term, bigger-picture change we need.
Montpelier needs the project opponents’ passion to propel longer-term, visionary projects. Nearer-term economic vitality from the hotel and garage project means more resources for creating the responsible environmental stewardship most of us want.