Highlights of the VCRD Community Meeting Process, Part III

Highlights of the VCRD Community Meeting Process, Part III

photo: David Holzapfel

Below is the LIVE “Twitter” feed from last night’s Community Meeting in Marlboro, Part III, led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD.) Enjoy the highlights below (last post listed first.) Photos by David Holzapfel.

Trails Meeting

Twitter Feed

We’re delighted and confident about what you’ll get done here in Marlboro.” #VCRD Paul Costello

We’re Marlboro’s cheerleaders,” says #VCRD Director Paul Costello, “deeply honored to be a part of your process.

Marlboro is one of the most dynamic & interesting communities we’ve ever seen…with a depth of talent.#VCRD Paul Costello

The visiting team of experts gathers with VCRD Director, Costello.

#VCRD Visiting team overwhelmed by just how many people came out for Part III of Community Meeting in Marlboro tonight–75+.

#VCRD is your resource referral agency,” says Executive DIrector, Paul Costello. “and we’ll be back to help if you get stuck.”

Chair of this community process, Forrest Holzapfel, about 2 close meeting in Marlboro.

Marlboro Community Meeting Organizer, Forrest Holzapfel

Town ENERGY PLAN is the ULTIMATE goal 4 Energy Comm. 2 take a leadership role in energy efficiency&use of renewable energy.

All 3 groups speak about keeping the Marlboro community informed thru the MIXER, the town website, & stakeholder conversations.

Town Energy Meeting

A TOP priority 4 Energy Goal was 2 “keep the conversation CIVIL” given how heated initiatives like windtowers & hydropower can be.

Trails Group Leader shares next steps.

Effective resources for the Trail/Bike Path Effort included federal, state and local initiatives and funding.Meetings for various stakeholders~from landholders to mountain bikers~is part of the Trails initiative with well-designed conversations

Safe access to Route 9 is one of the issues of the Trail & Bike Path Initiative in Marlboro. Inventory of trails is another.

The Community Center is a galvanizing one (in Marlboro)” says #VCRD Paul Costello. Next trails committee report.

Marlboro Community Meeting, Part III. Each of the 3 initiatives will report back to the whole group now.

Some “fundholders” donate toward civic engagements, others to historic preservation. The Windham County Rep for VCDP is here tonight.

Resources~The VT Community Development Program coordinates 550 different funds including living donors, aka “fundholders.” HOW FUN!

Money follows money,” says #VCRD Executive Director, Paul Costello about the funding process within and outside the town.

Town CTR meeting adjourns for short break before the full group reconvenes in the Marlboro Elementary Outback.

After August Mtg in Marlboro, #VCRD will be back at the 6 month & 12 month mark.

We serve as a resource patrol agent,” says #VCRD Director about their role in the future of this process in Marlboro.

#VCRD Director asks Marlboro Comm. Mtg Chair, Forrest Holzapfel, who he has identified as key leaders for each initiative.

#VCRD visiting team now sharing resources (including grants) available to Marlboro toward developing a town center/building.

My hand up 1st when VT Preservation Trust Rep. asks who will join bus tour around the state 2 see town centers.

VCRD Director Paul Costello lists next steps for the Community Center.

Prioritizing Action Steps at tonight’s meeting around Marlboro’s goal for a Town Center/Building #VCRD http://wp.me/pG508-9D

Marlboro Town Center Bldg. 3 possibilities rising from the discussion: Skyline, Marlboro North (college bldg), New Construction.

Hey Marlboro, anybody out there?

#VCRD brought a visiting team to Marlboro tonight to help move town goals forward.

Trails Meeting in action

#VCRD Director keeps Marlborians focused on potential Action Steps to keep Community Ctr. goal moving FORWARD http://wp.me/pG508-9D

#VCRD Preservation Trust Rep. suggests a tour to other communities to see community center dev’t

#VCRD expert shares examples of other VT communities who have established community centers with various purposes

#VCRD Executive Director, Paul Costello, leads the Town Center Action Plan Meeting in Marlboro tonight. http://wp.me/pG508-9D about 13 h

Baseball Mom arriving late 2 Community Center gathering–one of 3 meetings taking place 2nite in Marlboro

Only highway parking remains at Marlboro Elementary School where the 3rd Community Meeting is taking place #VCRD http://wp.me/pG508-9D

Town Energy Meeting

Tweeting LIVE from Marlboro’s Community Mtg, Part III

Photographer David Holzapfel captures me enjoying a cookie while Tweeting.

Kelly Salasin

Community Matters, Part III

Community Matters, Part III

Third and Final Community Visit, Monday, May 24

Marlboro Outback  6:30 – 9:00 PM

Marlboro Resident Polly Wilson votes at the Marlboro's Community Meeting (photo credit David Holzapfel)

This is a great opportunity to be part of the future planning for the town.



To Residents of Marlboro, Vermont

Come to the next meeting in the Community Visit process on Monday, May 24th from 6:30 to 9:00 at the Marlboro Elementary School. We’ll be looking at these 3 priorities:
Develop a Marlboro Community Center Building
– Improve Walk-ability and Expand Bike & Walking Paths
– Generate Energy

(Note that a meeting around the topic to “Advance New Zoning Bylaws to Include All Species” will be organized by VCRD and the Marlboro Planning Commission this coming fall)

VCRD will bring a new “Visiting Team” of state, federal, regional and non-profit leaders to Marlboro to develop task force work plans with action steps and resource lists that will help the town move forward.

Forrest Holzapfel, Marlboro Community Visit Chair
Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director

Here’s some background and more detail:

On April 29th over 100 Marlboro residents gathered in a community meeting to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Marlboro Community Visit process and to set priorities for action.

At the meeting, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) presented a list of all the key directions that residents had put on the table at the public forums on March 25th.

Following discussion, the top 2 priorities from the vote that night are those listed above. Community members also identified 2 ongoing priorities that need some fresh energy and they are also listed.

“A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.” (Proverb)

"Dot Party" The Town Votes/photo credit: David Holzapfel

“We shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us.”

— Winston Churchill

Marlboro Priorities:
Develop a Marlboro Community Center Building
Residents could create a stronger sense of Marlboro and improve the connections with others in the community by building or adapting a facility to serve as a unifying Marlboro Community Center. Features of such a center could include programs and activities ranging from meeting rooms and senior services to a gym, tourist information and WiFi center, library and reading room, entertainment space, parent/children playgroup room, community kitchen, teen center, café, or even a pub. Provision for parking and connection by trails to neighborhoods, the college, and other center points will be crucial to success. A Community Center Task Force could evaluate existing buildings and opportunities (like the Skyline Restaurant) and work with other groups in town to design a structure for multiple community activities, from country dances to social service meetings, movies or senior meals.

Michelle speaks to the viability of Skyline, photo credit: David Holzapfel

Task Force Signups So Far:
Sally Andrews
Augusta Bartlett
Lauren Beigel
Fred Bisbee
Alan Dater
Casey Deane
Esther Fielding
Will and Paula Fielding
Lucy Gratwick
Mary Greene
Marcia Hamilton
Richard Hamilton
Michelle Holzapfel
Francie Marbury
Andrea Matthews

Jean Boardman addresses the room/photo credit: David Holzapfel

Peter Mauss
Ellen McCulloch-Lovell
Lisa Merton
Ed Metcalfe
Julianne Mills
Lauren Poster
Mike Purcell
Kelly Salasin
Ede Thomas
Peggy Tiffany
Felicia Tober
Allison Turner
Liz Vick
Wendy Webb

Improve Walk-ability and Expand Bike and Walking Paths
Bike and walking paths can contribute to community interconnection, public health and community sustainability. A multi-use path from the school to the Town Offices, for example, could lessen the need for short car trips. A committee of Marlboro residents could look at the model developed by Kingdom Trails in the Northeast Kingdom for biking, walking and ski trails either for in-town personal transportation or to develop recreational assets for tourists and residents alike. The task force could map existing trails at the college and other community center-points, link them, map them, and encourage their use as ways to get around town, get exercise, and lower the number of regular car trips.

Task Force Signups So Far:
Gail MacArthur
Julianne Mills
Barbara Parker
Mike Purcell
Vanessa Redfield
Brent Seabrook
Peggy Tiffany
Liz Vick


In addition, Marlboro residents wanted to strengthen two existing efforts by bringing in new volunteers and building momentum to:

Generate Energy
Marlboro’s well established Energy Committee has led significant efforts to expand efficiencies in buildings throughout the community. But more mutual public education is needed to expand efficiencies and to inform the public about the potentials to cost effectively produce energy. Marlboro should adopt a vision to make itself the “Distributed Energy Capitol of Vermont” and then implement it by systematically expanding the number of households, businesses, and public buildings that generate the power that they use and contribute to the community’s energy needs. Toward that end, Marlboro residents should:  explore the implementation of a local PACE program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to support residents’ decisions to advance energy and efficiency projects; explore possibilities to build micro hydro sites in the town’s watersheds, evaluate the potential for a community wind project or extensive small scale wind development, and systematically expand solar panels to near ubiquity on houses in the community. Residents would like to see a Task Force raise the flag around a Marlboro identity as a state leader in energy creation and sustainability.

The Youngest Attendee (photo: David Holzapfel)

Task Force Signups So Far:
Peter Mauss
Jonathan Morse
Rose Watson

Advance New Zoning By-Laws to Include All Species

A meeting to move this priority forward will be organized by VCRD and the planning commission this coming fall and so won’t be on the agenda on the 24th.
Marlboro has an opportunity to plan for and build zoning to support long term strategic goals of creating a village district and advancing conservation.  Marlboro should adjust its town plan over time and develop new zoning ordinances to protect moose and bear corridors, to focus development density in a village area yet to be designed, and to preserve the rural nature of the town.  Residents suggest that those working on this should consider density development on RT 9 and between RT 9 and the College as potential village center.  Some suggest defining a limited area for commercial development on Route 9, and place for senior housing and for affordable housing for young families as part of focused development to build the village center.

Note: If you can’t make it Monday evening, you can follow the meeting LIVE on Twitter with the hashtag #VCRD or follow @kellysalasin.  Or you can return to this blog and follow the LIVE Twitter feed on the side bar or check back for the complete highlight post afterward.

Community Matters, Part II

Community Matters, Part II

“There is no power greater than a community
discovering what it cares about.”

~Meg Wheatley

The Youngest Attendee (photo: David Holzapfel)

Now that we know what matters to us as a community, it’s time to come together to make it happen.  Let’s have some fun!  (PS.  Don’t tell the little one, but a town pub was high on the priority list for most community members.)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Take a look at the guests for today’s Marlboro Community Visit:

Roger Allbee, Secretary, Agency of Agriculture

Suzanne Blanchard, Program Director, Smart Growth Vermont

Andy Broderick, Principal, New Generation Partners

Greg Brown, Executive Director, Chittenden Regional Planning Commission (Retired)

Paul Bruhn, Executive Director, Preservation Trust of Vermont

Patricia Coates, State Director, Congressman Peter Welch Office

Paul Costello, Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development

Steve Gold, Deputy Secretary, Agency of Administration (Retired)

Julie Jacques, County Director, Farm Service Agency

Jeff Lewis, Executive Director, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation

Larry Mandell, Founder, Woodbury College

James Matteau, Executive Director, Windham Regional Commission

Johanna Miller, Co‐Chair, Vermont Climate Action Network

Max Muise, USDA Rural Development

Tom Murray, Executive Director, Vermont Telecom Authority

Jenny Nelson, Policy Advisor, Office of Senator Bernie Sanders

Nancy Owens, Executive Director, Housing Vermont

Bob Paquin, State Director, Farm Service Agency

Julian Portilla, Program Director, Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies, Champlain College

Chuck Ross, State Director, Senator Patrick Leahy Office

Will Sawyer, Program Manager, UVM Center for Rural Studies

Ryan Torres, Philanthropic Advisor, Vermont Community Foundation

For more information, contact Margaret at 802‐223‐6091 or info@vtrural.org.

During the three month process, towns create local goals and action plans and are assisted by a Visiting Team who brings state and regional expertise and resources to the table. These state and regional experts will be on hand as active listeners as community members from Marlboro share their challenges, inspirations and current work ongoing in town.

Click here for schedule