ANTRIM PLANNING BOARD
December 30, 2015
Out of Schedule Public Meeting
Members & Staff Present:
Chris Condon (Chair) Michael Frosch (Member)
Mike Genest (Ex-officio) Colleen Giffin (Planning Assistant) Bob Holmes (Alternate)
Steve MacDonald (Member) Jeanne Cahoon (Member)
Members Absent: Carol Ogilvie (Consultant Planner) Elsa Voelcker (Alternate) Janet McEwen (Member) Jesse Lazar (Vice-Chair)
Invited Guest: Kristen Vance, Michael Rondeau, Shelly Nelkens
7:00PM Public Meeting:
Chair Condon opened the meeting at 7:00, and appointed Mr. Holmes to sit for the absent Ms. McEwen.
Community Profile Steering Committee
Notice is hereby given that the Planning Board regarding the Community Profile Steering Committee Chairperson will hold a public meeting. The meeting will be at 7PM on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at Antrim Town Hall.
All are invited and welcomed to attend. In the case of a public meeting, as opposed to a public hearing, you are allowed by right to be present, but you do not have the right to speak except at the Chairman of the Board's discretion.
Questions and Answers
Introductions Michael Rondeau moved to Antrim from Derry 2003. Works from home.
Shelly Nelkens moved from Francestown 40 years ago. Involved in community doing ZBA and Energy Committee
Kristen Vance grew up in Antrim, moved away and has been back for 20 years. Just has wrapped up her work with the Grapevine. Participated in the Charrette in 1999.
The UNH Cooperative process was explained to the three candidates by Chair Condon; that to proceed with the Community Profile process a Chair or Co-Chairs have to be chosen so that they may begin to build up their team of Committee Chairs. These Committee Chairs will then go to the UNH Cooperative Extension Facilitators training program. This will give all the chairs the tools to be able to guide their committees in the Community Profile meetings in the fall.
Mr. Rondeau asked if members of the any of the town boards would be chairing any of the committees or would they all be community led. Members of the boards are welcome to be members of the committee.
Ms. Vance asked if this Community Profile was anything like the 1999 Charrette. The Community Profile differs from the Charrette because it focuses on the community as a whole, whereas the Charrette focuses mainly on certain areas of a community, such as the Downtown Area. Ideas from this Community Profile can be used to help shape the next Master Plan in .
Ms. Vance asked if there was a plan on how to develop a diverse group of Committee Chairs to bring a diverse group of community members. This is why it is important now, months ahead of when the actual Community Profile meeting happens, to choose Co-Chairs. Those Co-Chairs need to start brainstorming on ways to advertise to the community about this upcoming event. They need to start to get people to volunteer to be Committee Chairs and Committee members.
The Candidates wanted to know if the Steering Community would be given a budget. Sharon Cowen of the UNH Cooperative Extension Program provided The Planning Board with some Community Profile documents that explained the Steering Committee’s roles and Responsibilities, how to develop a Steering Committee, a sample agenda of the Community Profile weekend, and suggestions of either fundraising for a budget or asking the town for money.
It was suggested that money be requisitioned from the Planning Board budget by putting in a request to the Town Administrator and the Town Select board. The Co-Chairs should have the request ready by the middle of the month of January.
The group discussed free advertising and getting surveys out during town events.
Mr. MacDonald ask: “ What is your experience leading a committee and what has some of your challenges been?”
Mr. Rondeau: “In business, I’ve owned two businesses and sold two businesses and now I work for myself at home. I had volunteered for community projects when I lived in Derry, but I have never been a leader in anything, so this would be a new experience for me.”
Ms. Nelkens: “I’ve done a lot of organizing, I organized in Brattleboro, Oneida New York, Bennington Vermont . Stopping the fluoridation of the water that entailed helping people use their energy wisely. Organized on other environmental issues. I have some organizational skills because I have a Masters of Arts in education and I have done a lot of teaching on a lot of levels.”
Ms. Vance: “I have organized quite a few committees over the years and the challenges over the years have been overcome by other people on the committee with diverse opinions and with the patience to take the time to figure things out. I really like the committee process. I think that is the way to come up with the best ideas.”
How much time can you devote to this project?
Ms. Vance felt that an answer would be hard to give at this time because as they recruit more members the tasks will become less time consuming.
Ms. Nelkens asked if the chosen Chairperson could write up something to be posted on the local public bulletin boards and to be handed out to the police and fire department and the library to help recruit people.
Ms. Vance said she would write something that could be handed out to potential committee members. She also felt that it was important to remind people of what came out of the 1999 Charrette, such as the improvement of the sidewalks and better downtown lighting.
Mr. Holmes expressed his concerns about the Committee Chairs understanding that they are going to be there to guide the committees in the process. The Committee Chairs are not there to push their own agendas onto the committee, but to help organize and process ideas from community members. Information will be gathered through surveys at Town Meetings and during the Community Profile event that will help establish what issues are most important to the citizens of Antrim. Mr. MacDonald believes that with the help of the UNH Cooperative facilitators and the training the Committee Chairs will receive from UNH that the Committee Chairs will be able to restrain any person that wants to take over a group.
Concerns were raised about the lack of Community involvement in projects that had been developed to enrich the town that were originally well received by the community, but were soon lacking in volunteers to help them continue such as the Budget Committee, The Energy Committee, and The Open Space Committee. An article was placed in the Limrik that went to hundreds of homes, yet only three people replied with any interest.
Ms. Vance answered that if something is not tried, it cannot succeed or fail. She was involved with the 1999 Charrette, which she feels was a great success and she believes that Antrim has not changed much in the sixteen years since that was done. She is very optimistic about this project, but she is concerned that some of the projects, solutions and ideas at the event will be carried forward and there will be concrete initiatives so that the people involved in this project do not feel like their hard work was for nothing.
Mr. Rondeau feels that if the planners of this event can prove that the community is going to have some actionable items that will improve the town that they live in. That resident will be more receptive to the idea and want to participate in the process.
The Board did make it clear that no matter what came out of this event it could make no guarantees about what final projects made it into the Master Plan. That would still have to be decided in a Town vote.
Chair Condon asked if The Board had any more questions.
There were none.
Motion to approve the Ms. Vance and Mr. Rondeau as Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee: Mr. MacDonald moved to approve the motion; Mr. Frosch seconded
Vote: By a voice vote, all agreed.
It was agreed between the Co-Chairs and Chair Condon that a meeting should be set up as soon as possible with Sharon Cowen of UNH Cooperative Extension.
Discussion ensued about who should be involved in this process. How much of this goes into the Masterplan? How much input does this really have in the future of the town?
Mr. Frosch moved to adjourn, Mr. Holmes seconded.
Vote: By a voice vote, all agreed.
Respectfully Submitted By,
Planning Department Assistant