Keep Ellsworth moving forward

Dear Editor:

The members of the Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee want to sincerely thank Michele Gagnon for her 17 years of dedicated service to the residents of Ellsworth. Ms. Gagnon helped Ellsworth make tremendous gains: a forward-looking Comprehensive Plan; storm water improvements that also make the city more climate-resilient; a new Knowlton Park and expanded green space; new clustered and in-fill developments; a High Street beautification plan; progress in protecting the city’s drinking water supply at Branch Lake; landscaping the Old Burial Ground; developing the Rail Trail; creating the Unified Development Ordinance; and a Bike/Pedestrian Plan, among many others. She has been a champion for growth in a way that makes sense for people and the environment.

We encourage the city to build upon Michele Gagnon’s progress by hiring a forward-thinking, community-minded city planner who will help the city become even more environmentally friendly and economically prosperous.

We believe that the wide base of support for the Ellsworth Green Plan should give the city the confidence to hire a city planner who will guide future growth and community development through environmental conservation. Hundreds of people have attended public forums, committee meetings, and public events to help make Ellsworth a model green community. The Ellsworth Green Plan will build on the city’s visioning project, the Waterfront Master Plan and the 2004 Comprehensive Plan, and will be a valuable accompaniment to the next Comprehensive Plan. The city sorely needs to update the Comprehensive Plan, now 15 years old, and this will only happen with the guidance of an experienced and highly qualified city planner.

Let’s work together to protect clean drinking water, to promote bikeability and walkability, and to support housing and other development that protects existing farmland and open space. The next city planner will provide the essential leadership on all of these fronts. We urge the city to hire a planner who will continue to champion community and conservation.

Aaron Dority

On behalf of the Ellsworth

Green Plan Steering Committee

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