EDC Chair: C-District needs

By Jon Bishop


HARVARD — Three members of the Economic Development Committee met briefly April 23 to discuss future plans for the commercial district, located on Ayer Road. Though there are four members, the EDC has a total of six seats, meaning all sitting members had to be present for it to be a quorum.

Chairman Rich Maiore said the town needs a “better functioning, better connected C-District,” calling connectivity a big issue. People can’t get around the C-District, he said. And the district needs better aesthetics.

There is also a desire for assisted living facilities, which is something the EDC could research, he said.

And that’s why he said it would be good to have the Planning Board come to a future EDC meeting so they could explore ideas.

“We could talk about a variety of things,” he said, noting that they could discuss adding sidewalks, sewers. “Let’s do it.”

They could talk about how the work of the EDC ties into the master plan, he said.

Don Graham, the Planning Board’s liaison to the EDC, encouraged Maiore to talk to the Planning Board members individually to find out their stances.

“Let’s figure out next steps,” Maiore said.

EDC member Elaine Lazarus said having a dialogue would be very helpful.

As for other steps, EDC member Peter Warren suggested that it wouldn’t hurt for the town to consider joining the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce. He said the EDC should consider getting a business owner from the commercial district to join the committee.

“That’d be great,” Maiore said, in response to Warren’s ideas.

Warren said he believes the EDC has become “stagnant.”

“We talk about a lot of great things but we never get very far,” he said.

When asked about when the working session would be held, Maiore said he needed to run the idea by the Planning Board first, but he speculated that it could be in June. The EDC will likely hold a working session with the Board of Selectmen.

As for the members present, Maiore suggested that the EDC petition the Board of Selectmen to lower the total number of seats to five.

According to the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General’s Open Meeting Law guide, a deliberation is “an oral or written communication through any medium, including electronic mail, between or among a quorum of a public body on any public business within its jurisdiction.”

A deliberation “must involve a quorum of the public body,” which is defined as “a simple majority of the members of a public body.”

“Thus, a communication among less than a quorum of the members of a public body will not be a deliberation,” the definition reads.