I love Squibnocket Beach — as do most who’ve ever stepped foot there.

And while I’m not against the folks at Squibnocket Point having access to their supersized summer homes, I’m passionately opposed to the current plan and the Chilmark selectmen’s handling of it.

The fear that the homeowners have of losing access to their homes is real. The fear I have that one of the Island’s most beautiful beaches will be harmed, is also real. So what do we do with all of this fear — keep making digs at one another? I hope not.

I don’t know what the best solution is — far from it. I’m simply asking that we all roll up our sleeves and find a win/win solution that we can all be proud of.

The current plan is being pitched as a public benefit to “preserve the beach rights for Chilmarkers” but many of us see this as an affront. Here is why:

At two of the well-attended public hearings the meeting was wrapped up after approximately 75 minutes. Many hands were still in the air and many contentious issues still on the table. At one such meeting, our chance to hear from the experts (hired by the Squibnocket Homeowner’s Association) was cut short because they had to catch a boat. The experts only had time to present their plans and thoughts but no time to hear any public comment or take any public questions?!

The absurdity of the project that has been rammed down our throats is one thing. The denial of viable community involvement in the process is another.

Both sides agree that the sea is rising. Both sides agree that something needs to be done. The experts hired by both sides do not agree on the best solution. And that is a problem that we need to work together to solve. Together. Together. Two sides gather together — got it?

Thomas Bena