"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Commercial Nodes? Mixed Use? Uniqueness?

Video will be available soon of yesterday's Land Use and Development listening session. I missed the first 20 minutes or so, but facilitator Tom Howard kept the meeting to it's intended 89 minutes. A lot of hot button topics came up which is a good thing in my opinion. Controversy gets people in the seats. Should there be residential development in commercial zones? How about commercial development in the agricultural /residential zone? Can ( should) we encourage "nodes" of commercial development with different characteristics and perhaps " buffers" between them up and down Rt. 25? Certainly no consensus was reached on any of these questions, but they are food for thought for the next Land Use focus group on August 13, 2014.


Let's get it right said...

To get more people involved in these discussions, is there any way to get a moderated online discussion forum going? This blog format might work too. Allowing people to write well thought out points of view, and have lengthy threads of civilized (I hope) discussions about them is better than the time constrained discussions held at these meetings. We're in the 21'st century. Let's use the tools at our disposal to get this planning thing right.

Mt. Rattler said...

I concur.

Martha Dandridge said...

"NODES" my butt.

What this proposal is simply a land grab.

We don't need anymore rezoning.

This is nothing more then the Town Planner justifying his job.
Come up with weird concepts to show the taxpayers that he is actually doing something.

We have too many restrictions already in this town. Why more?

I smell a Town Warrant Article "taking" the value of land that those landowners have along Route 25.

This town needs more businesses not less in order for this town to grow.

This town has a net decline in population because of all of these new restrictions on property owners.

Anonymous said...

Local government is participatory, it requires attendance and participation from real people, not just an online presence or profile. Would you want it any other way -- unseen online "people" driving the discussion?

Reality.. said...

Local Government is participatory... Great dream, but the facts here are a near full committee turnout, and three in the audience. For years this is the realality, for the SchoolBosrd, B OS. Planning, CIPC ABC Heratage, Conservation....a Max of three in the audience. Rarely do you see a newspaper reporter, so waiting two weeks to read it in your local paper, and another two weeks for them to perhaps post your letter. So our only option is the " unseen " online people, and thank god for them...our only public info. They are self-regulating....when ever a post is too far out, several point this out. Use your voice, everyone's input is important, and you better bet all at town hall read this daily. Our next issue is to teach them how to respond...

Busy Working Two Jobs said...

"Local Government is participatory... Great dream"

You bet.
I work two jobs just to feed my family and pay property taxes.
I work Saturdays. Can't get to the Town Meeting.
This is why this town must have Proposition SB2.
Enough is enough.

Time for SB2 said...

You Bet, hit the nail on the head.

Wonder if voters understand all it takes is 25 people to bring a Warrant Ariticle to town meeting despite what the Selectmen, ABC, CIPC or Town Planner recommend.

The Town Planner said the sidewalk article was premature. It didn't matter that the case had not been made for sidewalks and usage numbers were never provided. The article went forward anyway and was barely defeated in a tie vote 101 to 101.

Presently, Town Meeting is our form of government. Any 25 voters can decide they "want" sidewalks, a gym, parcels of land, more town toys or whatever. If you don't or can't attend Town Meeting, you have no say, too bad, you lose.

SB2 gives all voters a say in how their dollars are spent. Voters unable to attend Town Meeting can vote by Absentee Ballot.

In this day an age, SB2 makes sense. Voters deserve the right to vote at the polls from 7AM to 7PM in the privacy of a ballot booth.

SB2 give every registered voter the opportunity to have a say on the issues unlike Town Meeting that gives too much power to a small minority.

SB 2. It's Time said...

TIME For S B 2 Said...wow, you hit the nail right on the head. The old townies saw the ATM as control..vote when no one is here.. Hope they learn from the sidewalk tie...they have lost control. 300 working for the school system...wow, there is a voting block you can no longer control. Fairness should be the number one issue, and to be fair endorsing majority rule, you must turn out a respectable number of voters, and SB 2 may be the venue that helps that. We all have a stake in this town, it should be possible for all to vote.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Looks like MoBo has voted on SB 2 in the past, according to DRA Town SB 2 History.


SB 2 statute:

Regarding 25 registered voters for petition Town Warrant article:

Why wait for annual town meeting?
A "special town meeting" needs 50 registered voters; same statute as for 25 voters.

Start the fun while the snow birds are still here!


Votes For All said...

SURE JOE, pull their asses out of the lake and get them to sit in a hot gym for a four hours, and then have a vote on Hobson's Choice......serious delay tactics...study this. Feasibility this.....how about a chance to vote the damn thing down.....this getting a little bit pregnant does not work.
Last time the SB 2 vote had 58% in favor???needed a supermajority of 60% to pass. Anything that will put our contests in writing so we can vote on it is an improvement. I do not trust the Admins mouthpiece any more. We have paid lawyers to find what we voted on at town meeting. SB 2 will have a paper trail....

Anonymous said...

Joe, that is an excellent suggestion. I wonder if the group that coordinated it before will be willing to do so again.

Anonymous said...

Can this vehicle be used to override a warrant item passed at an annual town meeting such as a new gymnasium as long as no contract or commitment of the funds has yet been issued? If it can, I may start to believe in democracy again.

Anonymous said...

So the solution to low participation is to rig the game. How do you verify an "online presence?" We can't agree on in person voting requirements, how do you do it online? How do you verify that the 1000 comments received are not from a program? The "I'm too busy paying my taxes" excuse is a tired one...everyone is busy! If it is important you make time.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

" How do you verify an "online presence?" We can't agree on in person voting requirements, how do you do it online? "

There may be a little confusion regarding on-line info gathering and SB 2.

The fact finding, and debates, regarding issues can be done on-line, but not SB 2.

This blog, and the videos it presents, can be/are a vehicle for placing debatable points.

Post some URL that reflects your view. It doesn't have to be original.

This note may be a little too long, but I'm not presenting my arguments for any unique issue. I can do that in an enumerated, "bullet format," and let others shoot holes thru them.

This might be more on the rant side, but mercifully, be considered an attempt at communication.

There seems to be no problem making complaints ... but little solutions.

The SB 2 process still allows for a "deliberative" session that, in essence, is the town meeting for arguments and "rock throwing".

The voting takes place much later ... at a second meeting(ballot voting)that might give you time to think about an issue before voting ... rather than rubber stamp it, like the present town meeting.

"Nine-will-get-ten", the blogger will have it, and the video, on this blog.

You can decide wherever you happen to be, if you remembered to get an absentee ballot for the second SB 2 meeting ... the ballot voting.

Another big difference is the argument, that only "200-250 geezers" run this town, gets gutted; that is, if other than geezers voted!

I can say that because I'm a geezer, though don't/won't do much running ... for anything.

Doesn't mean the regime changes, if there is one ... only an argument goes away ... if non-geezers vote!

However, it should be noted that, we geezers, will be/are one of the fastest growing demographics nationally, and especially, locally.

Count me in said...

The group that presently holds power and the purse strings started a disinformation campaign and spread false rumors about SB2.

For towns that have adopted SB2, voters like the connivence of voting at the polls as opposed to sitting through 6 hours of town meeting.