Essex Heritage Annual Meeting
In this space, we have spoken on many occasions about the Heritage Hero Award Dinner scheduled for May 20, 2010 at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury. On the same day as that event, and at the same location, Essex Heritage will also hold a full commission informational meeting earlier that afternoon at 4:00 pm. Each year the Commission holds two full commission meetings in May and its annual meeting in October. The primary purpose of these two general meetings is to gather the elected Essex Heritage Commissioners to hear reports on the progress of the Commission over the past six months. These meetings are also open to the general public and serve as a wonderful tool to provide updates on the activities of the Commission that has impact on this region. This year in addition to providing general reports a new group of about one dozen new Commissioners will be elected at the meeting. A Nominating Committee meeting will be held in the next couple of weeks and a slate of nominees for this role will be created for a final vote at the May 20th annual meeting. The election of new Commissioners is a very important task for the rest of the Commissioners at the annual meeting to address as each year the Commission adds new members to keep the compliment of regional Commissioners at the 150 person level. These new and existing Commissioners serve as the representatives of the region we serve and represent the thirty-four communities in the region as well as many organizations ranging from large businesses to the smaller not-for-profit organizations that are so important to this region. These individuals act as advocates to help spread the word of our activities in the region, and also to serve as our eyes and ears in the many diverse communities that make up this region. If any of you would like to attend the May 20th annual meeting in Salisbury, please contact Emily Levin at the Commission headquarters at 978 740 0444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome and we look forward to providing updates on current activities that afternoon.
Community Preservation Act Update
Essex Heritage has always been an advocate for the wonderful accomplishments that many communities have been able to accomplish after the adoption of the Community Preservation Act by their community. In this region about one half of the communities have adopted the act and many projects and land acquisitions have been accomplished through the use of the funds generated through the use of this act. The City of Peabody is probably the poster child in this region for the use of the Community Preservation Act as it seems that each year several new projects have been undertaken using these funds that might never have been accomplished without the funds generated by the act.
We now hear news that the Town of Groveland, six years after the adoption of the act is currently debating reversing its decision. At the Groveland Town Meeting at the end of this month, that body will consider a proposal to rescind the acceptance of the act. The act when approved by a community allows the Town to levy a property tax surcharge up to 3% for open space acquisitions, historic preservation, and the creation of affordable housing and recreation activities in the community. If the article passes at Town meeting, a vote at the Town election will also be needed to overturn the action. The Town has used the funds generated by the Community Preservation Act to complete a number of wonderful acquisition and restoration projects in Town since the adoption of the act and we certainly hope the residents of Groveland will consider the past benefits from the funding created by the act before voting to rescind. The Community Preservation Act has served many communities in this region effectively, and Essex Heritage advocates for continuing expansion of the act in other communities in the region and certainly hopes Groveland will continue to use this tool in the future,
Also for your information, the Community Preservation Coalition, the statewide organization that provides support to communities that are contemplating participation in the CPA, will be holding their annual conference on May 6, 2010. This year’s event will be held in Northampton. MA from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm and for information on how to participate in the event and to sign up, please contact the Coalition at www.communitypreservation.org
Salem Partnership Announces Annual Meeting Speaker
A couple of days ago, I received an invitation to the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Salem Partnership in June 2010. The Salem Partnership was founded in 1987 as public-private partnership organization that focused then and now as an advocate for continuing progress in the City of Salem. The Salem Partnership has undertaken many projects of progress over its life, including the early restoration of the National Park site in the City, the building of the replica sailing ship, Friendship, the plans for the creation of an active commercial port in Salem, and the current courthouse expansion project currently underway in Salem. I am proud to have served as the President and Chairman of the Salem Partnership earlier in the life of the organization and still serve the organization as Chairman Emeritus. Essex Heritage was created in the early 1990’s through the efforts of the Salem Partnership organization and for those efforts the region should always be most grateful. The speaker at the annual dinner scheduled for June 8, 2010 at East India Hall at the Peabody Essex Museum will be the Honorable Deval Patrick the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Clearly, the continuing support of the Executive Branch of the Commonwealth will always be of great interest to the Salem Partnership and the message from the Governor will be important. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the Salem Partnership at 978 741 8100 or e mail email@example.com .
Beverly Grange Presentation
Last night I had the opportunity to provide an update on Essex Heritage to a group in Beverly. There were about 30 people in attendance at a Grange meeting at the Masonic Temple in the Garden City. The grange is an organization that dates back to right after the Civil War, and was organized to help bind up the wounds created by the schism between the States who fell a way from the nation. There are only about a half a dozen Grange organizations still active in the region we serve, but their interest in all things agricultural is still most evident., The group last night is representative of the many community based organization that exist for fellowship and also to provide community service in this region. I was invited to speak to the Beverly Grange by a legend from the Town of Danvers. Frank Tyrell who continues to serve the Town of Danvers in many capacities including serving as a Town Meeting member has been a member of the Grange, first in Danvers and now in Beverly since 1936, that incidentally was one year before I was born. Frank is well into his ninth decade of service to this region, and it was most pleasant for me to positively respond to his request to provide an update on the mission of Essex Heritage.
The presentation covered some of the history of Essex Heritage and its organizational structure and provided updates on many of the activities that are currently being offered to this region. The group was most interactive and after the presentation we had an active discussion about the mission of Essex Heritage and the role we play in this region. Many thanks to the Beverly Grange for their kind invitation and the opportunity to tell the Essex Heritage story to a most interested group. If any group in the region wants to receive an update on the work of Essex Heritage, please contact me at www.essaxheritage.org and arrangements to have a speaker come to your organization can be made to fit that organizations schedule...
As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at www.essexheritage.org. We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thanks You. Tom Leonard