Friday, August 14, 2009

Scenic Byway, Essex Heritage Leadershieting and a Sports Note

Scenic Byway Progressing

Over the last year, Essex Heritage with the help of our local State delegation has worked with many effected organizations in this region to bring the concept of a Scenic Byway to the area. There are not too many of these so designated Scenic Byways in the Commonwealth but with the support and cooperation of many in the communities that will be impacted, this initiative will become a reality in the not too distant future. The Essex Heritage Scenic Byway will focus on the historic and magnificent coastline that forms the eastern border of the region. There are dozens of wonderful resources in the thirteen communities from Lynn in the south all the way along historic Route 127 up to Cape Ann. In the August 13th edition of the Salem News there is an outstanding recap of the Byway, and there are graphic explanations and photos of many of the resources along the route. I hope that many of you have seen the story in the Salem News, and it is still possible to view the story on the Salem News web site. Annie Harris the Executive Director of Essex heritage along with Director of Heritage Development, Bill Steelman have worked diligently on this plan, and those efforts are certainly starting to bear fruit as the communities involved are now meeting to plan how the designation will benefit their specific community and the region as a whole. We look forward to more plans being released later this year, and seeing work begins in earnest on the effort.

Essex Heritage Leadership an Outstanding Group

At the September 2009 Essex Heritage Trustee Meeting the terms of many of the organization’s volunteer Leadership team will come to an end. Most of the team has agreed to take another term, but one of the most dedicated and committed of our leaders will see a big change in her responsibilities to the organization. Ms, Nancy Huntington Stager has served as the President of the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees for the last two years. Much has been accomplished under Ms. Stager’s leadership and her efforts particularly in the development area have been exemplary. Her level of support for all of the active programs of the Commission has been spectacular and her participation in all aspects of the organization has been complete. Nancy could always be counted on to be there whenever she was needed, and her “hands on” commitment to this effort as her term as President ends will be missed. Ms. Stager serves as an Executive Vice President at Eastern Bank, where she is responsible for the Human Resources function at the bank. We are all most appreciative of the efforts on Ms. Stage as she has lent a special level of expertise to take Essex Heritage o a new level from where it was two years ago, when she assumed the top leadership role at Essex Heritage. Thank you, Nancy Stager.

Danvers Finance Committee Meeting Next Week

Early next week, the Danvers Finance Committee that I serve on will meet to consider recommendations from the Danvers Selectmen. These will be important issues that will be brought before the “Fin Com” as an increase in both hotel and meal taxes will be considered. These recommendations are a result of a local option initiative that was recently approved by the State Legislature. The two proposals will be considered separately and any revenue earned from these new taxes will help enhance Town receipts in light of reductions in State funding and reducing revenues from other revenue items such as excise taxes.

A second item to come before the Committee will focus on local funding responsibilities to share the regional costs of approving and ultimately building a new regional Vocational and Technical High School that will be located in Danvers on the grounds of the Essex Agricultural School. This will be an equally important vote, as the portion of the funding that each community will share will certainly add to the tax burden of the Town of Danvers and any other community that will share in this important regional educational project.

One Brief Sports Note

Congratulations to the young men from West Peabody who last night moved into the New England Little League Regional final after defeating a team from Connecticut. Good luck in the finals this weekend. Also after a year away from the game with a serious knee injury, it was great to see Tom Brady’s return even it was only a practice game. His performance spoke volumes for this season.

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