Here is a video of the complete Best Practices Forum that took place on August 25. We are giving the Vimeo web video platform a try. The video is about 86 minutes long.
Here is an excerpt from the Best Practice Committee’s press release publicizing this forum:
It took two years and eight major public forums to create a Land Use Plan for the 4,000 acres, mostly flood plain, called the Meadows that borders the Connecticut River in Northampton.
Now, three years later the City’s Best Practices Committee hopes to bring many of the original participants–farmers, residents, business owners, city employees and elected officials–together for the first time since the plan was accepted.
The purpose of this event is to record the story of what many consider a difficult but largely successful public process told by the people who made it happen. The forum, scheduled for August 25 at JFK Middle School, will include former Ward 3 City Councilor Marilyn Richards, current Ward 3 Councilor Bob Reckman, (then Ward 3 Neighborhood Association President), Gerald Budgar, organizer of the Meadows Coalition, Director of Planning Wayne Feiden and Senior Planner Carolyn Misch.
The Best Practice Committee hopes to attract a number of the estimated 300 residents who were actively involved and others interested in grass roots problem-solving. “We want to record as many voices as possible,” explains Lisa DePiano, co-chair of the Committee, “why people acted, what they did, and how they felt about the process.”
The Committee is researching models for best government practices and will make recommendations to the City Council later in the year.
One particularly interesting segment was the presentation by former Ward 3 City Councilor Maria Tymoczko. She recounts the troubled relations between the Three County Fair and residents in the 1970s, and how neighborhood concerns came to be better respected. This segment runs from 2min:52sec to 22min:45sec.