Empathy for homeowners
I would like to take this opportunity to comment on selectwomen's Marie Angelines's [Angelides] article in the July 26 edition of The Reminder (Maza, 2012) that described her idea of creating a plan to address the landscaped conditions of homes in Longmeadow that have been abandoned, foreclosed or are rental properties.
I was struck by the focus on the conditions of the property and lack of mention and empathy for the Longmeadow residents that are no longer living in these homes. I have lived in Longmeadow for over thirty years and have been proud of our community and the values they represent both in Longmeadow and society at large. This nation is experiencing harsh economic times. Property taxes and cost of living expenses are rising at a pace that makes it difficult for many residents to sustain their homes and standard of living.
I think Ms. Angelides and the select board should take a moment to pause and reflect on our residents and neighbors whose lives may have been touched by unemployment, divorce, illness, the loss of a spouse or other personal hardships. I would also suggest that the select board consider creating programs that would lend support to our residents and create resources to assist them. While a fallen tree and an overgrown lawn may appear as an eyesore for some, we must look beyond the landscape into the homes and feelings of our neighbors that are in need of our support at this most difficult time.
Charlotte Zeller Ph.D.