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

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A place in which members of a community gather for social, educational, recreational or cultural activities.

That is one definition of a community center.A good one also.
An important part of that definition is " a place."
Lost in the debate over size and cost was the long view of what such a facility brings to a town. The value of a vibrant village for many years down the road, should not be forgotten.
Promoting compact development, density and mixed-use in the village is the mid to long term view of the updated Master Plan. An anchor facility that offers a central location for activities and events as well as badly needed parking, will go a long way to making the village vital and attractive.
Community centers are not just for seniors, not just for kids, not just for families. They can offer an enormous variety of educational, social and recreational activities, tailored to what the members of the community are interested in.
There are sound philosophical, programmatic, and financial reasons for having a community center instead of a  ╩║seniors‐only╩║  center, a youth center, a recreation activities center, and so forth. It is indeed feasible to have many programs in multiple locations, but that is not a "community center." Programs spread out over a dozen locations usually segregated by different ages and generations, does not promote any sense of community.
Also lost in the debate is the value of  open green space in the heart of the village. There is tremendous opportunity to transform an ordinary strip of town into a vital, vibrant space. We should not waste that opportunity by being short sighted and negative.

What will ultimately happen in the village is anyone's guess, but I hope that people will step back and be open minded as to what is possible and what is in the best long term interests of all of the citizens of Moultonboro.