The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 4 celebration a great birthday party

To the Editor:

It was a great pleasure to celebrate the 234th birthday of our country with the Carlisle Community Read of the Declaration of Independence on July 4. I thank the First Religious Society, who graciously allowed us to meet at the Revolutionary War Memorial on their lawn. I thank those who came to read the Declaration and those who came to hear it read. It was a great birthday party.

Cynthia S. D. Schweppe

School Street

Town Survey results available

To the Editor:

Version 0.5 of the town survey web site is now available. It is located at The site contains all the presentations made to the Board of Selectmen related to the survey, as well as other items of interest, such as the responses to individual survey questions, topic highlights and summaries, and results of our analysis. For example: Most respondents feel that Carlisle is a wonderful place to live and almost everyone appreciates the town. Overall, most residents were satisfied with the level and quality of town services. They trusted fellow townspeople and generally felt that the town was well run. More importantly, almost all responding to the survey felt they had an excellent or very good quality of life. This is in contrast to the rest of the country or comparable towns in New Hampshire and other medium sized towns such as Winston Salem, N.C. Carlisle citizens are generally happy with their lives and satisfied with how the town operates.

The survey did, however, reveal three pressing needs:

• A strong need for more housing options – smaller homes or apartments – so that more people can remain in town as they age.

• The need for more public transportation to Concord and other areas.

• A need to keep taxes/costs under control while continuing to provide quality town services.

Most adult residents (95%) felt they had a very high quality of life. The reasons behind this are varied; nonetheless it appeared that much of what makes people’s quality of life high is related to their individual actions, such as walking, visiting with friends or exercising. Many people feel that public services also contribute to their quality of life, as long as they don’t cost too much. Demographic characteristics also matter: people with more income and time at home reported relatively higher quality of life. Interestingly, trust and participation were less important to quality of life.

Thus far, we have tested and verified that the site works with Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and FireFox when used in conjunction with Adobe PDF viewer. (These are typically standard components when using Microsoft operating systems.) If you have difficulty exploring the site using your own PC, the PCs at the library work just fine. We are currently working with the software provider we’re using on the site and we will keep you posted as operability improves.

You will notice that there is a menu selection to provide feedback to us regarding improvements that might be made. We welcome all suggestions and will address as many as we can.

The Town Survey Development Team:

John Ballantine, Alan Cameron, Jim Elgin, Verna Gilbert, Kathy Mull, Camelia Rosca

Thanks to Benfield planners

To the Editor:

Thank you to all who have worked on the Benfield community housing, conservation and recreational project over the past four years.

Finally, we are ready to move to the next stage. It has been more than ten years since Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF) initiated the effort to preserve the Benfield property. Now, with the help of over 100 people and thousands of volunteer hours, the Carlisle ZBA has given approval to the effort. Hopefully, by 2012, Carlisle residents and others will be able to move into a well-designed and carefully thought out community housing development.

This has required a tremendous amount of work by all involved, much patience and even a touch of humor. Thank you to all who have worked so hard over the past ten years to make this vision a reality.

Why did it take so long? The answer is not obvious, but it is critical if Carlisle is going to tackle its future housing issues.

In the 2009 Carlisle Needs Survey, 41% of the survey respondents said they would like to see other housing options – smaller homes and/or condos. People seem to want something like the Malcolm Meadows development which serves a broader cross section of the town. However, Carlisle residents also want to preserve our rural environment and there is a strong resistance to change in the town. (See the above letter for additional information regarding town needs and attitudes.)

So the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Housing Authority and other town bodies need to think hard about how they want to address Carlisle’s future housing needs. We know it won’t be easy; however, the summer is a good time to lay out longer term plans.

For the moment I want to thank everyone who worked on the Benfield effort.

John Ballantine

Fiske Street

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito