I’m very disappointed to report that Governor Patrick chose to veto the
language that we worked to place in the Environmental Bond Bill regarding
the Silver Maple Forest acquisition.
He apparently embraced the perspective of his housing administrators. The
housing administrators opposed the acquisition because they saw it as an
effort to block affordable housing development.
The decision does not reflect the perspective of the many people who
communicated with me about the issue in the neighborhoods of Cambridge,
Arlington and Belmont. Most were not opposed to affordable housing in their
communities. Most felt that the forest is a valuable regional asset that
should be preserved for future generations.
Unfortunately, there is little chance that the legislature will take up veto
overrides for any of the bond bills in this session, so the Governor’s
decision is likely to be final.
In any event, even if the the legislature reinstated the language — in this
session or next year — it would not force the Governor’s hand. The
language set up a collaborative process in which the Governor retained full
discretion. The veto sends a clear message about where that process would
I’ll hold a meeting on Tuesday, September 9 at 7PM in Belmont Town Hall,
Conference Room 1, to discuss next steps. But, it appears that our strategy
to save the forest through a state park acquisition may have failed.
Although I had always viewed it as a long shot, as we successfully overcame
opposition in the legislative process, I had started to gain some hope. So,
I’m very disappointed to be bringing this news.