Planning Board Settles on Committee to Implement Master Plan

The Planning Board is considering implementation of the recommendations included in the Master Plan it adopted in March, and settled on establishing a committee to head that process.
The Master Plan Steering Committee spent nearly two years crafting the document.
“We had postponed this discussion until after the Woodmont Master Plan,” board chairman Arthur Rugg said. He asked whether an implementation committee is needed or whether the Planning Board should be in charge of implementation.

Comprehensive Planner Jon Vogl said at the board’s Wednesday, Nov. 13 meeting that he had been in contact with Town Planner Cynthia May and his advice was to go forward with the committee.
“There needs to be people responsible, someone at the helm,” he said. “There was a lot of enthusiasm with the plan, it turned out to be a great document with a lot of recommendations, and it will change Londonderry in the future, I think for the better.”
Vogl said some of the recommendations will take a long time to implement, and it is time to get started if the board wants to move in that direction.
Rugg said it warrants a desire to proceed with the plan’s implementation.
Board member Mary Wing Soares said the board should ask for volunteers to form a committee, and not just among the board.
“Those that are probably closest to it are those that were on the steering committee,” Rugg said. “We won’t have to re-educate people. My own thoughts would be to go to those people who were on the steering committee and see who is interested in being on the implementation committee.”
The steering committee had 15 members.
Board member Al Sypek agreed, saying the steering committee members would be most familiar with the plan.
Board member Maria Newman said that even if there were a majority of members from the steering committee, other people “mixed in” would be good.
The consensus was that the committee would meet no more than once a month.
“So our direction is the committee,” Rugg said.
Board member Leitha Reilly, who chaired the master plan steering committee, said she was a little confused.
“When I was here in front of you all proposing this, there was push-back on having an implementation committee, and yet I’m hearing the opposite,” she said. “So I’m wondering what’s changed. Is it just that you’re faced with the idea, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s so much to do,’ and it’s before us now? I’m not trying to be flippant, I’d like to know what’s changed.”
Soares said that Woodmont is now behind them, and they now had “all the time in the world.”
Reilly said a committee should include representative boards, the same as in the original Master Plan committee. “I really do think that it’s important,” she said.
Rugg concluded, “we’ll take it one step at a time.”

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