My Turn: Leyden’s election winners must find common ground


Published: 6/22/2022 6:30:57 PM
Modified: 6/22/2022 6:30:38 PM

The town of Leyden has a long and proud agricultural heritage, one that has diversified over the last 30 years from primarily dairy-based to sheep, hay, goats, logging, chickens, cattle, vegetables, and orchards. We see more small-scale and organic farms that are supported by the communities they feed. Innovation and evolution are sustaining our rural economy.

The changes in Leyden’s agriculture are reflected in the changes in Leyden’s culture. New families have moved into town, small businesses have sprung up, fresh ideas are being raised at Town Meeting.

We are Warren Facey and Anders Ferguson, friends who have been having kitchen-table conversations for 30 years, about agriculture, land preservation, economic development, family, and community. We met lobbying the state for higher milk prices. Warren has lived in Leyden for 60 years; Anders moved from Colrain to town 16 years ago. Warren once farmed our property. Our conversation about global politics sometimes even expanded over Warren’s midnight snowplowing.

We do not always agree on everything, nor do we needlessly argue or quarrel. We talk. We try to understand each other and find common ground. How else do you learn, change?

Over the last two years we have had ample opportunity to discuss the stress and distress that has troubled our dear town: resolving the fight over the chief of police, how to create a new Selectboard which better leads, supervises and brings people together, how to build bridges between different and sometimes very strongly opposed positions.

This week we sat down at Warren’s kitchen table to debate the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates in the upcoming elections for Selectboard and town moderator. We agree about respecting and protecting our farming traditions and the old families in town, while welcoming new families. We both want to turn Leyden’s “angry page” and move on to a civil and better future, together. We strongly agree that Leyden needs skilled leadership and honest transparency to get us back on track. We feel strongly that the winners in this election must work with the other candidates and their supporters and must include their ideas as we build a new town government.

And in the end, we agree that DiMatteo, Caffery, and Golden are the people who can best do all those things. Please join us in voting for them on Monday June 27.

Warren Facey, founder of Breezy Knoll Farm, and entrepreneur Anders Ferguson live in Leyden.


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