New open space committee gets official approval

By Andrea Ray | Apr 18, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Marion Selectmen Stephen Gonsalves, Jody Dickerson and Stephen Cushing listen to the Stewards of Open Space's proposal.

The Stewards of Community Open Space are officially a committee.

The Stewards, a committee proposed by Marion's Master Plan Open Space Committee, has had a somewhat colorful past.

The Stewards is meant to develop and maintain the town's open space, while hopefully involving all nine entities in Marion that deal with open space.

"We'd like to invite all of the entities dealing with open space to work with us, if they want to," said subcommittee member Jennifer Francis. "They certainly don't have to if they don't want to, but this would eliminate a lot of redundancies."

"How many people do you envision sitting on this committee?" asked Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson. "That's the next step after approval."

The board in general seemed to think that a 4-5 person committee was ideal, but Francis echoed that there was certainly a place available for a representative of every open space entity in Marion. The members of the new committee will propose members for appointment by the Selectmen.

The number of proposed people on the committee was what initially concerned John Rockwell, the head of Marion's Open Space Acquisition Committee. At a meeting in February, he said of the initial Stewards proposal,  “communication is good, but this is a lot of work as opposed to sending emails out.”

He also intimated that making the committee an official group would limit what members could discuss in emails and thus would actually “impede communication.”

The Stewards' approval was tabled in February until subcommittee chair Margie Baldwin could discuss the idea directly with MOSAC.

The result was that at Tuesday night's meeting, the Stewards were given the official okay go full-speed ahead with their plans.

"I like it," said Selectman Steve Gonsalves. "I think everything should be under one umbrella. That's the best way."

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