Skatepark Design on Selectboard Agenda This Tuesday

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Readers of

You will recall that the Selectboard acted a handful of months ago to commit to a contract with a design firm, which has since been working on the design for the skating facilities at Crowell Park.

Because I care deeply about all opinion and concerns regarding this project, I wanted you to know that the Selectboard has just warned a discussion of the Skatepark design on its meeting for this coming Tuesday, under New Business. It is possible that, absent any opposition, they may act to approve the Skatepark design at this meeting or at any meeting subsequent to it.

I am personally unhappy with the process that has brought us to this point. I do not believe that the Development & Review Board (D&RB) should have accepted the Zoning Officer’s assurance or certification that this plan would constitute a “minor change to an existing facility” and thus not qualify for a wider, more careful community vetting of the plans.

Let me point out, however, that the D&RB made its approval of the location completely contingent upon acceptance of the final design.

I am also unhappy that the decision that the Skatepark would be a “minor” change to an existing facility was voted on by the D&RB (I saw … I was there), and yet that very important vote was not recorded in the minutes of the Board. This is an extremely important matter — the minutes of all legal or quasi-judicial bodies need to be recorded, and in this case made available to the public, before those minutes become legally binding.

I will attend this meeting and give voice to my concerns. Will you?

I believe it would be constructive to demand that the Selectboard call for a public meeting or hearing devoted exclusively to the Skatepark. But if that doesn’t happen, I wanted you to know that these regular meetings of the Selectboard, School Board, etc., may represent the final chances of influencing the Town’s decision-making in this regard.

John Wilmerding

Elected Town Representative, 3rd District

P.S.: I have, several  times in the past, been called “NIMBY” on the skatepark or, on the other hand, in favor of its location at Crowell Park according to the current plan. Neither is completely true. I would appreciate if it you would not try to characterize my views on it — it is my right to do that. Rather, do your best to engage carefully and diplomatically on this issue. If you want my views, which may change over time, please be sure to ask me.

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