Notes from May 23 BVC Town Hall Meeting at Clement Avenue School

May 23, 2012

North Somerset Grange Hall, Solon, Maine. —image from Wikicommons; public domain

Note from editor: I was deeply impressed by the Grangers when I learned about them in ninth grade, and in a way, that movement represents the civic ideals and mode that I think the Town Hall Meetings might emulate. “The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, also simply styled the Grange, is a fraternal organization for American farmers that encourages farm families to band together for their common economic and political well-being. Founded in 1867 after the Civil War, it is the oldest surviving agricultural organization in America…Indeed, the word ‘grange’ itself comes from a Latin word for grain, and is related to a ‘granary’ or, generically, a farm…The motto of the Grange is: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” Learn about the agrarian 19th century Grange movement here

MAY 23 BVC Town Hall Meeting Notes
Introduction

Katherine Keller and Patty Pritchard Thompson: Town Hall Meetings (THM) a place further develop community cohesion and identity Place to ask questions, get answers, share information. Meet face-to-face. Place to learn to collect and share information whether it be about city or county services, business, schools, real estate, pedestrian safety, section of a park that needs, attention, etc. A place to share suggestions and ideas and find resources, that is people, tools, ways to accomplish goals that are established.

Noted that is a lot of talent, knowledge, wisdom, and resources in Bay View. THM could be place/method, way to find these and tap them. Meetings could be connection points to share information collectively.

Audience Contributions

Audience members’ comments when asked what they would like THM to be, to achieve, do, etc.

Greg: Post information about the meetings on physical kiosks in key areas of Bay View. Establish places where residents can reliably get info about the THM…when and where but also what transpired at the meeting/s.

Bill:
a)    Would like to see the planters on Kinnickinnic Avenue that the former Bay View Business Association purchased planted with flowers. Suggested that residents approach business owners who have the planters in front of their establishments and volunteer ask, What can I do to help you plant and maintain this planter? He wants the TH
b)   Would like the information exchanged at THM to be accurate.

Fabio: Attended the meeting to learn about the THM, the community, and to find out how he can volunteer.

Jan:
a)    Would like THM to be a place for people to find how to get more involved in the community. Said despite lots of ways to connect, residents are still relatively disconnected.
b)   Would like THM to be a place to get good information out to people to get on same page, to know about what’s going on.
c)    A place to build consensus.
d)   Place to learn about where to find specific information on the city (or county) websites or where/whom to directly contact with specific problems. He cited example of a flickering city streetlight. Alderman [and county supervisors] don’t need to be bothered with every trivial problem since residents can accomplish resolution of many problems with a phone call or email, if they know who or what department or agency to contact.

Ken: Would like THM to be a place where an active body of residents present ideas, hone those ideas, then act upon them. Does not want THM to be a place for griping and action-less complaining.

General Discussion

Need to better publicize these meetings. More reminders more places.

Recommendation that there be a central info website about the meetings but also place to publish where residents can post information about events, government meetings, etc. Suggestion that it be moderated so it is informational and accurate.

Discussion about who should lead the meetings. Should we have different leaders at each meeting? Or?

Agreement that goal is to keep them non-political, that is not beholding to one politician’s or group’s agenda.

Where should we meet in summer when MPS facilities aren’t available? Request that venue/s be accessible and air-conditioned. Suggestion was made that next meetings be held at the BV Library Community Room. Bill Doyle offered empty storefront at 2223 S. KK, until he leases it out.

Time date of next meeting will be established and published soon.

Join us!

If you would like information about location and time of future meetings or where to find notes about these Town Hall Meetings or projects that develop, write to: editor@bayviewcompass.com. Please put  BVC TOWN HALL MEETING (or BVC THM) in the subject field of your message.

 

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