To the editor,

Some thoughts on the proposed master plan:

We need to take advantage of current and future technologies. Nearby towns are installing solar systems on public lands to power street lights, reducing pollution and saving money. We should switch over to LED lighting and hybrid vehicles, wherever practical.

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During her campaign, Judie Mirra spoke of the need for more diverse recreational opportunities for both young and old. Sports are great for our kids, but not all kids are into sports. And the baby boomers are not going to be satisfied with bingo. We need community spaces that allow for performances for both kids and adults who want to make music, or dance, or put on a play. We need “maker” spaces, where young and old can build robots or furniture, code computers, produce and edit videos and learn from one another. And we need improved public transportation to get non-drivers to these spaces and other resources.

Related to this is the need for more social and mental health services. If we are serious about addressing addiction, we need more services and funding for both prevention and treatment.

There have been efforts to address our sewage issues and some awareness of the relationship between water, sewage and development. Currently, we have patchwork systems and patchwork problems. Water shortages in one place, unreasonable fees for water from both private companies and government entities in others; ticky-tacky houses destroying our views and empty McMansions gobbling up our green spaces; chemicals on our roads and lawns that threaten our groundwater and lakes. We really need a more comprehensive plan and vision to address all three as a whole.

How about some townwide forums, not “at some point,” but early and often to incorporate the needs and ideas of all the stakeholders in our community?