I’m not a resident of Atlantic Highlands, and I have never lived there, but I have enjoyed the riches provided by the municipality. From a player on the Atlantic Highlands-Highlands Tigers Pop-Warner Football team in my youth, to a coach in the same organization as a young parent, to fishing with my own Dad on the F/V Satellite, Atlantic Highlands has always had a lot to offer.

I’ve been gone from the area for close to thirty years, and I often look back fondly on those days of my youth and innocence. There is a comfort in “Home” that cloaks you in a blanket of familiarity, a cocoon of coziness, understanding, and wellbeing.

But change has come to Atlantic Highlands, and from my cloistered perspective, not all the change is good.

I’m not bemoaning the new construction or the heights of the buildings I see on First Avenue, that is progress, and progress is driven by economic development, I am speaking about the waste of natural resources. I feel that the greatest resource a community can have is its residents, its people.

At the recent City Council Reorganization meeting, the Mayor failed to reappoint what I consider as one of the greatest resources that Atlantic Highlands has, former Council Member, and Former Mayor Helen Marchetti to the Harbor Commission.

Benedict XVI said “The quality of a society, I would say of a civilization, is judged by how well older people are treated and the place reserved for them in community life. Whoever makes room for the elderly makes room for life! Whoever welcomes the elderly welcomes life! "

We all grow older, it is the natural result of living, and age never loses its value and dignity.

Mayor Le Grice has failed to reserve a place in the community for Helen Marchetti, Mayor Le Grice has failed to make room for Helen Marchetti, Mayor Le Grice has failed to value Helen Marchetti, and by those failures, has failed to dignify the Office of Mayor of Atlantic Highlands.

Love what you have now, before it is gone.

 

Jim Smith
Holly Springs, Mississippi