In previous Drummer articles, I have expressed my opinions on aspects of our town’s fiscal status and how they are impacted by the boards’ decisions in the final determination for action on asset properties (eg. Kearns School and East Street Farm). Citizens’ comments regarding generic or topic-specific issues are allowed at BOS meetings, but no questions or board responses are addressed at that time or post meeting. Inquiries and statements by residents are welcome at public hearings on specific subject matter presented by the board(s). But unless the majority of a large number people voice similar concerns or suggestions or an actual multi-signature petition is submitted, no recommendations are taken under consideration by the board(s).
With this in mind, I refer once again to the most current Plan of Conservation enacted on Oct. 17, 2016, that decisively stated the need for a marketing plan for the Town of Granby. A cross-section of citizens, farmers, business owners, etc. should be included in the development of such a plan. This undertaking has not occurred or been initiated.
We are at a cross road where we can no longer “feel our way” to decisions regarding the fiscal future and constructive growth of the community. Toward that end, I would suggest the new Director of Community Development, Abigail St. Peter Kenyon, hold an open forum for residents and offer legitimate ideas for objectives for the future growth and evolution of Granby. Alternatively, an email distribution soliciting similar ideas could be reviewed and a poll taken on the most popular submissions to ascertain areas of commonality amongst resident respondents.
To formulate ongoing dialogue and a conduit for effective communications between the public and the administration, a Citizens Advisory Board could be established and the parameters and protocol under which it would operate could be recognized in the Town Charter. Its purpose would be as a voice representing the people on major topics with long-range effects on the town’s fiscal health and over all success now and for the future.