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Dublin Planning Board

Drive-thrus, political process are concerns

  • John Morris

    John Morris

  • Macy

    Macy

  • Macy

    Macy

  • John Morris
  • Macy
  • Macy

John Morris

Occupation: Engineer, software

Time living in town: 12 years

Previously elected offices: none

Other qualifications: Engineering background so I understand the building process. Software background so I can promote better, more modern ways of informing Dubliners of town meetings, issues and decisions.

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

Defending Dublin’s rural scenic small town feel. Ensuring that businesses and development are primarily for the benefit of local residents.

Dublin’s character is under attack by the majority of the current planning board. They have proposed zoning changes that would allow commercial drive-throughs (fast food restaurants) all over Dublin. I am urging voters to vote no on Article 6 to stop this. The planning board did this with little notice and contrary to the Dublin Master Plan, so residents were either unaware or had little time to comment. Those of us who did comment were ignored. This treatment of the town’s residents convinced me that I should run and work to help give all residents of Dublin a voice in proposed changes.

I will start by making sure all Dubliners are informed when important issues like this are being put forward so they can be heard early in the process. The requirements for legal notice, agendas and meeting minutes are obsolete, and must be enhanced with more ways for people to be informed, such as email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Dublin’s taxes are high and going higher every year. Unfortunately, trying to grow Dublin quickly will only lead to higher taxes. The most built up towns in our school district — Peterborough, Antrim, Bennington — have even higher tax rates. The most rural towns — Sharon, Nelson, Greenfield — have the lowest tax rates. This is because more developed towns offer more services, which cost more money. The type of changes being promoted by the current board are geared toward making Dublin a rest stop on 101, not the town that we now live in. The basic question is: do you want Dublin to be a rest stop for passing motorists or to remain the small town you have known?

Gregg Fletcher*

Occupation: I teach science at Dublin Christian Academy

Time living in town: I originally came to Dublin as a DCA student in 1985 and returned after graduate studies in 1997 to begin my teaching career.

Previously elected offices: I previously served on the planning board as an alternate and have recently finished my first term as a member of the board.

Other qualifications: I have appreciated my time on the board with its opportunities to contribute my experience as a small business owner and homeowner.

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

I am concerned how the board’s decisions affect other individuals and small businesses in the community. People who manage small businesses, organizations and services are a substantial portion of Dublin’s community. Since our town cannot sustain larger businesses, I feel it is important for the town to encourage the efforts of these individuals.

One of the objectives of the town’s master plan is to encourage “low-impact businesses, home occupations and telecommuting.” Recent developments in technology and its uses have changed the fabric of our society and how it survives. We need to accommodate these changes and allow people to interact as other communities do. Though we are limited by the infrastructure of communication providers, we need to do as much as we can as a planning board to make Internet communications more available for emergency, economic and educational use. The Internet is no longer a convenience, but a necessity. I also believe we need to encourage the growth and development of those districts designated for commercial business. I believe a balance can be maintained that allows for improved infrastructure with rural charm. I want to be sensitive to the natural attributes of our community but balance that with the needs of people. Dublin should be a place that is suitable for all who call it home.

Steven A. Baldwin

Occupation: Retired

Time living in town: 28 years

Previously elected offices: None

Other qualifications: Retired police chief from the town of Hancock. 22 years experience with small town government. Worked with town officials regarding planning, budgeting and the development of emergency services.

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

Do what is good for the town of Dublin by setting down clearly as possible the best and most appropriate future of town development under the jurisdiction of the planning board. Take a down-to-earth approach to town planning by exercising common sense when making decisions. Listen to people and be understanding to their needs.

Follow the Master Plan, which involves future economic growth for Dublin within town guidelines. Respect voter decisions and stand behind them.

Suzan Macy*

Occupation: Retired, artist

Time living in Dublin: since 1996

Previously elected offices: Planning Board member, Conservation Commission member

Other qualifications:

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

I am retired and live completely off the grid. When I’m not working in my garden, enjoying my family, or taking care of my chickens, I paint. I love living in the small town of Dublin for its people, its beauty and its sense of community.

If you vote for me, you’ll be voting for someone who has seen firsthand what the wrong type of business can do to the flavor of a small town. Specifically, I’m referring to Article 6, which will be voted on Tuesday, March 11, at the Town Hall.

Article 6 would allow drive-through restaurants in our town’s Neighborhood Commercial District and by special exception, anywhere else in town, except for the Mountain District. A ‘’Yes” vote means we want to open the door to changing our beautiful, rural landscape and potentially dotting it with drive-through businesses. Related to this issue is the potential increase in taxes due to the need for more town services. Our tax rate is already too high.

Can’t happen here? Think about it. There are no drive-through restaurants directly on 101 between Milford and Brattleboro. We have plenty of available properties that would be attractive to drugstores and fast food enterprises. Wouldn’t any chain love the opportunity we’d offer?

What could this town look like in 10 years? Let’s keep Dublin for Dubliners and vote “NO” on Article 6!

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