On Friday, November 20, 2020, 07:43:41 AM EST, Heath Connects <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
On Tuesday Sue Lively read her letter to the Select Board regarding the lack of action on the Facilities Task Force Report. This powerful letter is attached to the email and is well worth the reading.
Thank you to those who attended to support Sue, and especially those able to add followup comments in support: Barbara Rode, Will Emmett, Maya Jalbert, and Margaret Freemen.
To quote Sue, "We should not be looking at this as residents of Mohawk Estates or North Heath or Heath Center. We should be insisting that all of us seek what is best for all of Heath."
Pat McGahan, email@example.com
"We should not be looking at this as residents of Mohawk Estates or North Heath or Heath Center. We should be insisting that all of us seek what is best for all of Heath. Instead of simply crying for short-term ways to save money, we should be evaluating and determining our needs and finding fiscally responsible ways to meet them."
From: Sue Lively
Heath Select Board,
On June 16, 2020, the Facilities Task Force formally submitted their final report to the Select Board. Five months have passed. The report has been listed in the agenda numerous times over the last 5 months. Yet there has been no focused discussion by the three members of the Select Board on the content of the report. There has been no plan on how to encourage widespread dissemination of the report to the townspeople. There has been no completed plan on how to solicit and respond to questions from the public. There have been high-priority safety issues still not addressed.
Where does that leave us? In my opinion it leaves us in an ever-deepening hole which will soon become impossible to climb out of. A small group of people have circulated information that suggests that the Task Force “were recruited and handpicked to insure a particular outcome”, that the goal is to destroy the Center, that the financial information is incomplete and incorrect. For many months, the residents of this town have been hearing a total misrepresentation of intent and content. But look at the introduction on page 4 of the Task Force Report. It says, “It was also our sincere desire to create plans that retained all of Heath’s buildings and put them each to their best use.” The report then goes on to explain why we chose the route we did. The report contains far more than a suggestion for how to use the buildings. It includes a summary of the histories of our town buildings, an assessment of the conditions of those buildings and repairs needed, basic building requirements we identified as crucial to decision making for the future, costs analysis. It contains two possible plans at either end of the spectrum. Yes, we did recommend the plan that just uses the school over the plan that just uses the Center because our research showed that of those two options, it offers the best bang for our buck, now and well into the future. The introduction acknowledges that there are compromises within those plans if Heath wants to choose that route.
These last few months have been difficult. Covid, Broadband. Education. Budget. The load on the Select Board is enormous. But allowing misinformation and half-truths to be endlessly circulated without a firm and clear rebuttal is not acceptable. I am well aware that as a Board and as individuals you have been on the receiving end of some very unpleasant interactions. Moving forward will not be easy. However, continued delay allows more misrepresentation to occur and has the effect of misleading many townspeople who are hearing only what is being circulated. Nothing is offered for those individuals politely waiting for the Board to clarify how they will proceed. It leaves unheard those people trying to play by the rules. And it leaves the task of making an informed decision based on real facts almost impossible.
As a member of the Task Force I worked hard to be objective, separating my personal feelings from my responsibility to the town. I would not have accepted the appointment if I was not confident in my ability to do that. I do not expect everyone to agree, but I do expect everyone to make that same effort. We should not be looking at this as residents of Mohawk Estates or North Heath or Heath Center. We should be insisting that all of us seek what is best for all of Heath. Instead of simply crying for short-term ways to save money, we should be evaluating and determining our needs and finding fiscally responsible ways to meet them. The report should be considered with all seriousness. If there is disagreement with its recommendations, the viable alternatives should be put forward. Nothing positive can be achieved by simply repudiating the Task Force’s findings. It is time for the Select Board to take action.
Thank you for your time,
Email to Heath Connects w Building Updates 11/16/20
Dear Fellow Heathans,
The next Select Board meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday November 17. It is important to hear what is being said and to speak. You can use the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting to express your ideas on town issues. Right now only one side of the building use issue is being heard and the Select Board needs to hear from you as well to create balance. Please be there to support Sue Lively who is reading her letter on the task force report.
There has been a lot going on over the past months relative to the use of our buildings. Below are some updates on what is happening.
Rental for Tri-wire:
Tri-wire has contracted to rent space at Jacobs Road for morning meetings and storage. The Select Board has approved the use at $7000 for 14 months. For Covid considerations the Tri-wire workers will enter and leave from the playground end of the building in the back and have a dedicated restroom at that end. The contract starts on Monday, November 16.
Three classrooms and the gym are the current locations for remote learning serving two teachers and 13 students.
Rental for Theatre Group:
Jonathan Diamond has requested use of the gym for certain nights and weekends. The pods in the gym will be arranged to accommodate both uses while ensuring safe distancing and sanitization.
Adult Internet Use:
The School Use Committee is working on setting up pods in the cafeteria for adult internet use following this week's foot clinic.
The Foot Clinic takes place two days every other month in the cafeteria. This week it takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 17 and 18. The next clinic is in January. There are volunteers to sanitize between foot clinic visitors.
Projects being worked are insulation, windows, and heating. There is a request to open up the building for adult internet use. Ventilation remains an issue for the Hall.
Sawyer Hall, Community Hall, Jacobs Road
In the past several weeks Pam Porter and Pat McGahan hosted two realtors and Randy Coochier from the Franklin County Community Development Corporation to determine the feasibility of rentals in the town buildings. The purpose was to gather information to help move forward on making the best use of our buildings.
The report on this activity will be presented to the Select Board at the next meeting and will be sent out to Heath Connects following that meeting.
Joint Committee Creation
The Select Board has created a building use committee to facilitate use of both the Community Hall and Jacobs Road for both rentals and community use. The committee is made up of 9 persons and should have its first meeting in December or soon after the new year. Tentative members are Barbara Travers, Chris Luis-Schultz, Kara Leistyna, Lyra Johnson-Fuller, Mary Sumner, Pam Porter, Pat McGahan, Sue Gruen.
The current committees for the school building and the community hall will end in December.