ABOUT TOWN: Big Plans for Stoughton's Future
Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
STOUGHTON HAS BIG PLANS! The Stoughton Chamber of Commerce hosted a dinner meeting at Courtyard by Marriott Thursday night, with Stoughton officials and the business community gathering to talk about this town's future.
With delicious food from Smokey Bones Restaurant in their bellies, and interesting food for thought in their minds, the crowd heard from a number of speakers about Stoughton's Master Plan, and then split into small groups to tackle a number of questions supplied by Juliet Walker and Sue Brown of Brown Walker Planners in Newburyport. They were hired by the Master Plan Committee, chaired by Joe Scardino.
Chamber Chairman Chris Petrie hosted the evening. Interim Town Manager Joseph Feaster, Jr. was the first to speak, saying that when the Master Plan is completed, and it begins to be instituted, “Stoughton will become a destination in the State of Massachusetts.”
Selectmen Chairman John Stagnone gave kudos to the Chamber, mentioning that “business is a big part of the community.” Town Planner Noreen O’Toole and Scardino, who also chairs the Planning Board, also greeted the crowd.
Brown and Walker did a presentation on “Community Vision.” They said that what the business people in the crowd, as well as residents in the Stoughton community, need to express to them is what they think their community should be. That is the information they are trying to gather.
They plan on further “stakeholder interviews,” “visioning sessions,” and “public forum groups” to understand better the needs of the community, both business and residential. They will be studying a number of issues, including traffic, housing, finances, employment, education, public safety, senior services, schools, historic places, and more.
During visioning conversations, small groups tried to identify:
- a word or phrase you think is a key characteristic of an economically healthy community
- the town’s principal challenges affecting the town’s economy/business sector
- tools and strategies that participants believe will help Stoughton improve economically and better support its business sector
- priorities a master plan should address
- tools or strategies to best address those priorities
The Town of Stoughton Comprehensive Master Plan visioning will continue on Monday, Oct. 15, with a Master Plan Community Forum, from 6-9 p.m. at the Stoughton Senior Center, 110 Rockland St.
Transportation and child care will be available on a first come, first serve basis. A light dinner will be provided. Contact email@example.com for more information.
In addition, Brown Walker Planners, Inc. is planning focus groups. If you’d like to participate, call Noreen O’Toole at 781-341-1300 x9201. If you’d like to be added to the Master Planning email list, send an email message, with your full name, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last Master Plan for Stoughton was done between 1968-1970, more than 40 years ago, O'Toole told town meeting back in May. This plan gave a good synopsis of the town back then, but didn't give a vision for where it was going, and didn't have a business component, she said. This plan will.
The Stoughton Master Planning Committee includes Chairman Scardino of the Planning Board; Town Planner O'Toole; Selectmen Chair Stagnone; Petrie of the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce; Vice Chairman Daniel Kelly of the Conservation Commission; Forrest Lindwall and Lou Gitto of the Redevelopment Authority, and William Angelos of the Planning Board.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY: to Jill Higgins, Marketing Manager of the New Center for Arts and Culture, and a sometime director and actor at Little Theatre of Stoughton, and Stoughton Stars; to Joanne McGloin, a Stoughton resident, who has been an office manager for 34 years at Motor Land, Inc. They celebrated on September 15.
To Judi Moore, a Stoughton High and Umass Boston grad; to Rabbi Avigayl Young, former Director of Education at Ahavath Torah, who now works at Gann Academy. The grad of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America resides in Stoughton. They celebrated September 16.
To Anne Havlin, Director of the St. Anthony’s Free Market, the food pantry connected with Immaculate Conception Church. Anne is a selfless volunteer for those in need, and has waged a public battle against cancer. We wish her health and happiness. And to, Rhona Maple, a Randolph native, who used to teach at the defunct JCC in Stoughton and Reverend Jeffrey Symynkywicz of First Parish Universalist Church in downtown Stoughton. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. They celebrated last week.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: to my neighbor and friend, Donna Sandler; to Jason Wolfe, a Sharon resident, who played softball with all of us Stoughton guys in the JSL. Jason is program director of WEEI Radio; to Stoughton's Michelle McGrath, who owns her own PR Firm, and handled "Paragon Park: The Musical" at the Company Theatre; and to Dawe School PTO co-president, and co-founder of the It's Elementary 5K fundraiser, Carolyn Curtis-Mahoney.