Calling all NG Residents – Now it’s your turn to give input to the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee. After more than a year of research, meetings, and discussion, the committee is moving to the second, outreach phase of their work. They used an on-line survey in fall 2018. Scott Hastings, Town Planner, describes the 2019 process as a two-element outreach effort:
- A survey will be available online and in hard copy from April 22 through May 10. Informational mailers will be sent to all residents by April 27. The online survey can be accessed here.
- In-person interactive input with Hastings and Committee members:
- May 1 with students at GNG High School.
- May 6 at Town Meeting, Memorial School Gym
- May 7 through 10, Hastings will be available at the Meetinghouse to discuss the Plan. The evening of May 9, some committee members will join him for an informal open house where you can find out more about the Comprehensive Plan.
Check the NG town website and the informational mailer for more details.
At the committee’s April 11 meeting, Hastings reviewed the draft survey and members discussed the questions at length for clarity and informational content. A successful survey will provide good information from residents that can be used in the future drafting of the Comprehensive Plan. The committee spent a lot of time making sure that all sectors of New Gloucester are considered in the questions. They need input from residents of all ages and from all areas of town, including local businesses.
Other points of concern were the ease of taking the survey for residents and streamlining subsequent compilation of the data. Committee members Terry DeWan and Debra Smith made several suggestions regarding the organization of the survey so people can click through easily. Hastings and the committee must be able to analyze responses in a timely manner and assure they have quality data representative of the entire town.
Topic areas for the survey questions that generated much discussion were better understanding of residents’ view of New Gloucester’s rural character, how residents use the roads, transportation modes (walk, bike, or equestrian), what citizens want from the recreation department, internet connection needs, age-friendly communities, and favorite places in town.
Committee Chair Don Libby made the point that the committee’s goal is to understand what residents think, not what the committee thinks. Spaces for open answers will be included on the survey, as well as prompt boxes to check as applicable.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the committee decided to go back to one meeting per month starting on May 23, 6:30 pm at the Meetinghouse.
Town Planner Scott Hastings welcomes comments from residents and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-926-4126.
Video of the full April 11 meeting is available here. Materials and videos for this and other meetings can be found on the NG website: newgloucester.com.
— Reported by Anne Maurice; edited by NGX