The Harrisville Planning Board held a special meeting at the office of Chesham Consulting, located on Main Street on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct its annual organization review.

Members Present: Sherry Sims, Ned Hulbert, Nick Colony (alternate), Pete Thayer (alternate), Heri Tryba, Courtney Cox, Selectman Andrew Maneval

Members absent: Noel Greiner (alternate)

In the discussions of the meeting, the members noted the following strengths of the Planning Board:

  • Procedurally and organizationally, the Board dots I’s and crosses T’s.
  • Tackles challenging topics and unpacks dense topics well.
  • Keeps sight of the goals of the Master Plan.
  • Is a healthy, functioning board. Members take the work seriously and do their homework.
  • Board is efficient in its preparation. The atmosphere feels good.
  • Housing committee went well, both in producing results and it did not take up PB meeting time until recommendations were presented.
  • Meetings are well organized.
  • Membership is a good mix and represents the town in a balanced way.
  • Members show thoughtfulness in their different perspectives.
  • Succession plan works.
  • Members demonstrate professionalism, are respectful.

The members also discussed the following developing needs/weaknesses of the Board:

  • Need to integrate technology better.
  • Need support for board and town committees, ex. Minutes, resources.
  • A PT Administrator, shared with other town(s) would provide consistency in the application processes of all boards.
  • Need clarity in the acceptance process for applications.
  • Board is going through a generational transition with older members making way for newer, younger ones. Need a coaching process for chair(s).
  • Members need training, even though they are volunteers acting in good faith, so they can correctly apply rules, ordinances, and RSA’s.
  • Bring in ideas and procedures from elsewhere: other towns, state agencies.
  • Perhaps have some cooperative meetings with other PB’s in area to learn what they are doing.
  • Activate SWRPC more with us.
  • Board needs to keep discussing strategic issues of the entire town.

Members briefly conducted a verbal self-assessment of the co-chairs and individual members. This was a positive and thoughtful discussion.

Summary of items for the Board to concentrate on during the next year:

  • Training – broad intro training and specific training for various roles.
  • Review our priorities
  • Improve communication with other boards in town, also with the public.
  • While striving to act professionally, remember that we are volunteers and amateurs and that we cannot expect too much of volunteers.
  • Involve other members and public volunteers as much as possible to reduce having to involve the four most experienced members in too many committee/special assignments

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm