Goals for Downtown

One of my prime objectives is to further develop the downtown in order for it to become a stronger supporter of the town economy as well as an inviting and safe place for people to spend both their days and evenings. Yes, it will take money. But the money alone won’t do all of it if we don’t have a vision and a plan as to how to spend it. We don’t have to begin by throwing tax dollars at the plan. The monies can come in part from private businesses that can profit in conjunction with our success. The plan can be designed and phased for implementation in a logical and affordable sequence. A thoughtfully conceived design plan that enhances the towns appearance can be a beginning.

Solutions to the Issues Downtown

We have a clean downtown but have we maximized the aesthetics? This can mean more green space, cohesive signage, functional, attractive lighting and better traffic flow. Sidewalk seating and even trees can by furnished through private donations in honor or memory of a special person. In addition, scheduled, specific, evening shop openings that include a wide variety of “browsable” retail shops. A crucial issue will be parking. Private development of parking will have maximum incentive for the developer and maximum benefit for the town. We should provide creative incentives for the development of the above street level spaces in beautiful, but presently underutilized, buildings.

Controlling the Population

This may be considered for condos or apartments. Also, we should evaluate and permit zoning changes for new and appropriate functions to be built in prime downtown areas. Another important facet of the downtown development will be to attract a variety of new restaurants for day and evening use. One essential incentive has been distribution of liquor or beer and wine licenses. Population is an existing criterion for the distribution. We can mandate additional criteria that will help maintain and control these spots. For example: time of operation, trash control, food with liquor. Some existing parameters will need to be reevaluated and possibly revised.

How I Can Help These Problems

In my role on the Planning Board I address the specifics of the projects being presented. I use my expertise to ensure that each proposal is thoroughly evaluated as to its appropriateness and local, state and federal regulation compliance. Some of the issues that I personally supported are the new high school, the community/senior center and open space including walking and bike trails.