Friday, June 22, 2007
Vets' Honor Roll working group to form
At the June 12 meeting of the Board of Selectmen (BOS), Selectman Doug Stevenson presented a plan for moving forward with a revamped Town Honor Roll. The current memorial on the Town Common has fallen into disrepair, but a proposal by the Town Common Committee (TCC) for another glass and wood memorial was opposed by the BOS and defeated at Town Meeting in April. At the time, several Selectmen criticized the TCC proposal as inappropriate and voiced support for a memorial of granite or other permanent material.
A previous plan, developed by architect Nicholas Reed and paid for by the Carlisle Garden Club, had provided for a granite memorial receded into the hillside with granite benches and a gathering area in front. This plan was rejected by the Historical Commission and was felt by the TCC to be inconsistent with use of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. Such funds are designated for preservation and the Reed plan was felt to be too extensive a change.
Stevenson's recommendation was for a working group to be formed consisting of two representatives each from the BOS, TCC, Community Preservation Committee and the Historical Commission and three at-large community members, to include veterans. Stevenson noted the plan would "include an appropriate memorial to Carlisle's veterans, a sense of space for those visiting, and a more permanent honor roll listing Carlisle's veterans from WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Gulf War, and current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan." The goal would be to report to the BOS by October so a plan could be presented at a fall Special Town Meeting. Stevenson noted the short time frame would mean "a fair amount of work over the summer" but said he had been contacted by "a number of individuals eager to help out."
BOS chair Tim Hult said he would like to provide "the ability for advocates of the previous plan to state their case." He also noted that there should be a public forum for the citizenry to weigh in on proposals. Stevenson said the TCC will have their opportunity but also noted the Reed plan will be re-examined as it is, in his opinion, "closer to something that would be very appropriate."
Hult expressed disappointment that several townspeople misconstrued the Selectmen's opposition to the TCC proposal as lack of support for fixing the memorial. "There is no opposition to an improved Honor Roll." Alan Carpenito said he had been contacted by veterans' organizations, upset that the proposal did not pass. "I assured them the intent is to move forward," he said as he volunteered to be a member of the working group.
The selectmen voted unanimously to form a working group to include seven members to begin looking at ideas for a new veterans' memorial. Interested community members can contact BOS members or Madonna McKenzie at Town Hall.
© 2007 The