As someone who spoke at the against the introduction of food trucks into Brookline, ultimately I was more disturbed by the Selectmen's blithe disregard for the substantive questions raised not only by myself, but by two prominent town meeting members, restaurant owners, and other citizens, than I was by their ill-considered decision to proceed with this program.
I was under the apparently erroneous assumption that the Selectmen, in their capacities as elected representatives of the community, had a civic responsibility not only to allow opponents of the food truck pilot program to speak, but, as well, to ADDRESS the significant issues that were raised. Among many issues raised were:
1) The fundamental unfairness of forcing the tax paying restaurant owners of Brookline to compete with imported businessmen whose only stake in the community is to make a profit, and who face none of the costs that brick-and-mortar restaurants bear every day.
2) The fact that because the food trucks are almost all registered in other communities, the local food tax revenues they collect will not go to the Town of Brookline but instead to surrounding towns; and thus their presence represents a net revenue loss for Brookline.
3) The fact that the food trucks have no responsibility for the litter that invariably accompanies the presence of such businesses.
4) That the measure of the program's 'success' will be no more that hear-say. And rest assured, the Selectmen will hear what they want to hear. They have already proven as much ().
This 'Pilot Program' is clearly a stalking horse for a much larger scale invasion of food trucks into Brookline with the potential to gravely harm the hardworking business people who have worked so hard to make a success of their restaurant businesses and make Brookline a destination for people from the surrounding area.
Who are the Selectmen representing? Why did they refuse to engage in a substantive discussion of the issues that were raised? The meeting was a bag job. Shame!
25 John Street
Brookline, Ma. 02446
earlier in the year, following another meeting on the subject of Food Trucks.
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