LRPC Public Session on Nov. 22
After the cancellation of the Long Range Planning Group's public forum on Sept. 21 and many other hurdles including resignations, the group its consultant, Perkins Eastman, will hold its first large-scale public session on Monday, Nov. 22
The LRPC and the consultants last met on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. to discuss the logistics of the open house and forum along with publicity of the event.
In terms of publicity, the LRPC has sent out postcards about the event to nearly every household in business in town. Chairman Christine Wagner said that she had arranged for 7,500 postcards to be mailed around town.
"We are approaching this with no preconceived ideas and we want to project that anything is possible," Frank Fish of BFJ Planning said at the meeting.
The evening is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium. For the first hour and 15 minutes, there will be an open house. During the open house, there will be stations set up with informational boards concerning many of the municipal facilities around town like town hall, the fire department, the police department and the library. It will be an opportunity for residents to meet one-on-one with the individuals at Perkins Eastman and BFJ Planning to discuss questions.
After the open house, a short break will ensue before the consultants being the official public session with a short presentation. The committee has said that they may limit how long people can speak if there are an exorbitant amount of residents willing to say a few words on Monday. That would depend on the turnout and they also reiterated that they plan on being there as long as it takes to hear everyone's point of view.
Fish also stressed that they are starting from the ground up and take the public's opinion very seriously. He and the other consultants hope to learn what the public wants.
"We want to have no conclusions right now," Fish said. "We just want to identify what the problems are."
The consultants have begun meeting with various people in and around town since the contract was signed. In addition to having met with the various people involved with the municipal facilities, they have also attended public meetings.
Herve Hamon of Perkins Eastman was on hand at Tuesday's Board of Selectmen meeting and spoke about incorporating some of the findings of the Senior Health Care and Housing Committee research into the open house portion of Monday's public session.
The next step after the public session will be a public workshop to take place sometime in the middle or end of January. After that, the firm and LRPC will work together to come up with a scope of work document "that remains flexible."