Cumberland residents are being asked whether the town should build affordable housing on land formerly owned by Elizabeth Drowne. The town obtained the land when it accepted an offer in the will of Mrs. Drowne in 1892. The intent of her offer was to have the property benefit education and required that the land never be sold, and that income from the property go to the school.

To uphold the conditions of acceptance, the town should have conserved the property in a trust. Unfortunately, the town did not. Then, in 1957, because the property was not in a trust, a judge ruled that the town no longer had to abide by the conditions that were agreed upon when it took possession of the property.

Now it’s up to us to decide. Do we honor what we agreed to when we accepted the land? If so, vote “no” on the referendum.

John Jensenius

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