Adams Selectmen Review Strategic Planning Process

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Selectmen met at the Free Library on Wednesday and took a tour of the recent renovations.

ADAMS, Mass. — Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco wants to start the five-year strategic plan process in a month and finish by next year's town meeting.

He told the Selectmen at Wednesday's meeting (held at the Free Library) that firstly he would like to start with an environmental scan that will take the form of a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis.

From there, the town will form a mission statement and vision for the community followed by a special session on economic development. Finally the town will hold goal sessions at which the community can come together and pick out specific objectives.

Mazzucco said community involvement will determine how long each section will last.

"It's the community's strategic plan and depends on how much the community wants to be involved, where they want to be, and what they want to focus on," Mazzucco said. "When you hit on something good and a topic people want to get into, there may be longer conversations … it's about taking time and doing it right."

Mazzucco said he felt next town meeting would give ample time, but did not want to have a set time so the town could go through the proper process.

Selectman Jeffrey Snoonian agreed about taking time needed but did not want the plan to become stagant.

"I just don't want to get caught spending two years on a 10-year plan and then taking eight years to implement it," Snoonian said.

Selectman John Duval advocated for a more representative group handpicked by town officials to take charge of making the strategic plan. He said 50 people were chosen with an interest in the planning and who could commit to meetings the last time the town went through the process.

He said there should be venues for public input but if it is just open to the public, he would be afraid no one would show up.

"When you get down to strategic planning you need representation from all aspects of the community and not just the individuals that show up every meeting that we have," Duval said. "You will have the same group we always get every other time."

Selectman Joseph Nowak agreed with Duval, however, felt the strategic plan should come more directly from the community at an open forum so everyone has a chance to speak up.

"There is credence to that because you will get people that know more than others, but a lot of good ideas in this word come from people that are just common folk," Nowak said.

Selectman Arthur "Skip" Harrington agreed with both of his colleges and suggested hand picking some members and having some spots open for those interested.  

Mazzucco said he will meet with the strategic plan subcommittee and have a process that the Selectman can approve within the month.

The board also went over a new social media policy based on one used by Auburn that must be adopted before the town can launch its informational Facebook page.

"We are going to start with Facebook and go slowly from there primarily as a tool for us to get information out there on the Web," Mazzucco said.

He said the public's ability to comment on the page will be limited because it is not a forum for discussion. He said any commenting that does appear on the page will be taken down if deemed inappropriate.

Mazzucco said only administrators can post documents or photos to protect the page from spam or advertisement.

He said the board will vote on the policy next meeting. 

Tags: municipal planning,   strategic plan,   

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