2018-01-10 / Front Page

Select Board approves disbandment of Master Plan Steering Committee

By TORY DENIS

TORY DENIS
Marji Graf, CEO of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (OVRCC), talks to the Chester Select Board during a regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 3, about the Chamber’s goals for 2018.TORY DENIS Marji Graf, CEO of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (OVRCC), talks to the Chester Select Board during a regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 3, about the Chamber’s goals for 2018.CHESTER — The Chester Select Board voted unanimously at a regular board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 3 to disband the Village Center Master Plan Steering Committee, a subcommittee of the selectboard.

The Steering Committee was appointed in August 2016, and members worked through Fall of 2017.

“You really did a good job,” Select Board member Lee Gustafson said at the meeting.

The Steering Committee was the official committee established by the Select Board to assist SE Group with the criteria of the Master Plan.

Subcommittee members included Town Manager David Pisha, Julie Hance, Bob Flint, Jason Rasmussed, Kelly Arrison, Claudio Veliz, Carla Westine, Rick Paterno, Barre Pinske, Hugh Henry, and Scott Wunderle.​

Select board members agreed on Wednesday that the work the Steering Committee has done will be a good resource in the future, with the amount of work and input that has gone into it.

The next step will be to form a new Village Center Master Plan Implementation Committee, which will be voted upon in an upcoming select board meeting.

The select board voted to take no action at this time, to allow time for interested citizens to discuss who may prefer to serve longer or shorter terms, and to talk about how long they would like those terms will be once the new subcommittee is created.

Some projects that the Implementation Committee may work on, such as the Tree Canopy project, may have an ongoing lifespan, while others may have a more set time limit, Pisha said.

The subcommittee could function as a sort of clearing house for projects while working with other entities such as the town’s Conservation Commission.

Some people may decide to change their membership over time depending on personal interest, as projects rise to the forefront and are eventually completed, Pisha said.

Though terms may rotate out for those serving on it, with differing projects over the upcoming years, the subcommittee itself may exist in perpetuity, according to Hance, who is also the executive assistant in the town clerk’s office.

Hance said she would like to see a sub-committee of not more than 11 members. As an official sub-committee of the Chester Select Board, the Implementation Committee meetings will be governed by the same rules as selectboard meetings, and will have minutes taken.

The public will also be welcome to voice their opinions and ideas.

At this time, Hance said that some members who served on the Steering Committee have shown an interest in continuing work on the Implementation Committee, and that interested citizens are reaching out to other local people who have shown an interest in serving.

The select board will revisit the creation of the Implementation Committee at a future meeting.

In other municipal news, Marji Graf, CEO of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (OVRCC), also made an appearance at the select board meeting to review the Chamber’s goals for 2018 and to discuss improvements that could help the town of Chester make better use of the OVRCC’s resources and business connections.

Event scheduling could be more coordinated, for instance, she said.

“We want lots of things to do all the time, not all in one weekend,” Graf explained.

Graf encouraged town officials to take advantage of the Chamber’s resources such as the regional guidebook and event calendars.

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