Editorial, Letters to the Editor

Town Hall/Rural Edge Questions

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To the editor:

April 25 (the day after the community conversation held at Lakeview School) was the last time the Rural Edge (RE) project was talked about at a select board (SB) meeting publicly.

Before that, the last time it was talked about was the presentation given by Patrick Shattuck on February 14 about the overall scope of the project. At this point, there were many unanswered and pertinent questions from the community.
At the public meetings on April 24 and 25, the SB agreed to hosting more community forums to talk about the project. It was at the end of the SB meeting on April 25 that the board dropped into an executive session, and “renewed” their option agreement with RE, which had expired on March 31.
At their May 22 meeting they were reminded that the meeting they had scheduled and then canceled because it conflicted with a school board meeting needed to be rescheduled. They acknowledged it was their plan to put something on the calendar for June.
The community forum held this week was a good step in gathering folks around this topic, yet many questions went unanswered.

There really has yet to be a true conversation about what this community wants to see happen to an important historic building in our town center. I acknowledge that the panel was a group of community members gathering support and not the experts to be answering some of the questions that were asked at that meeting. It was also not an official town event in any capacity, as stated in the previous SB meeting. These questions are important to the community’s understanding of the project. The SB and RE need to be more transparent.
At this point, without a meeting on the SB calendar designated to this issue, and all discussion at the official meetings regarding RE being held solely in executive session (with no official statement being given to the public after such sessions), when are community members supposed to discuss their very real concerns about this potential project?

When can the community expect answers to the questions repeatedly asked from those closest to the project being proposed?
The question I also have is how can an expired (3/31/24) option agreement be renewed (4/25/24)? If anyone can shed some light on this for me, please reach out.

Elissa Mackin

Greensboro

Elissa Mackin is The Hardwick Gazette’s bookkeeper. This letter does not reflect an opinion of The Hardwick Gazette nor its publisher, Northeast Kingdom Public Journalism.

Elissa Mackin

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