The reason for the petition on the Thompson Community Center in Union was not to tear the building down, like some think.

I submitted this petition because option one, to retain ownership of the TCC, won the majority of votes in June with only 205 votes. I do not feel that 200 residents out of the 500 who voted should make that decision. By the way, that total is not 50 percent of our town residents or registered voters.

I have spent a lot of time this year getting to know the people of Union. I tried to make people aware of the cost of keeping the TCC, I ran for the Select Board and I collected signatures for this petition.

I would say that maybe one-third to one-half of Union residents are 50 or older. I am not sure if they understand the cost of things, unless they have had work done on their home or tried to buy a car.

The TCC petition had 218 signatures from Union voters. It took four of us a week to finish this. I personally got 140 of the signatures.

I personally read or had each person read the petition. I explained that option 1 was chosen for the TCC, meaning the town was authorized to spend up to $468,000 on the building. I assumed they were going to use it to try and fix the TCC.

According to option one, after spending the $468,000 the building was still going to need up to $3 million to be properly renovated. If you get a copy of the Fire Marshal’s report from the town office, since it is not online, you will see violation 9 in the report says the engineering study is from 2018 for structural integrity.

Where nothing has been done, the structural integrity part should be updated. You can go online and look at the tiers of needs that were put together for the TCC. Tier one, an engineering study, is needed to assess the structural integrity for usage and permits.

If you look at tier two, you will see several things are listed as pending the engineering study.

John, Mikie, Jody and Martha were present when John remeasured the south wall. As of March, that wall is bowed four and one-half inches compared to the three inches it was in 2018.

John asked for the wall to be barricaded so no one could be hurt, and was told an engineer’s report was needed to do so. Do a quick google search to see how unsafe that wall is. Whoever is outside or inside is going to get hurt.

Who do you think is going to pay for the lawsuit that will be filed? Keep in mind the roof was patched, not fixed. So that will roll back to tier two. The furnace also needs constant work and the septic tank needs to be replaced.

Considering my husband pays taxes, I felt that instead of piecemealing the work we should get a full scope of what is needed now, with cost, since very little has been done since the 2018 report.

Two-thirds of the people who signed my petition said they do not want the building town down. They also do not want to pay for the renovations. They all wanted senior housing, and many were very disappointed it did not pass.

Unfortunately, people do not go out to vote and make their voices heard. You should go online and listen to the last Select Board meeting to hear what the gentleman who is working with the Select Board had to say.

There is still a Select Board member who is against the TCC being used for housing, even though the advisor has said in both his meetings that renting out for office space is no longer feasible or profitable.

People need to understand COVID-19 changed our world as far as office space. Everyone works from home now.

If this petition goes through, and an engineering report is done with cost, it will be necessary to have all registered voters informed of this process and then vote again.

This was not done when the 2018 report was done. I feel things would have been different if it had been. I also do not feel it is appropriate to be gathering people to the room downstairs of the town office for this or that as things fall apart. Very few people know about these events and show up.

Please vote YES on article two on the ballot. Let’s settle this once and for all. Not in another four to 40 years.

Linda Waltz-Mountainland