AT ARROWSIC’S June Town Meeting, residents passed a $9,000 budget line for administrative expenses, which included publication and distribution of The Arrow.

AT ARROWSIC’S June Town Meeting, residents passed a $9,000 budget line for administrative expenses, which included publication and distribution of The Arrow.

ARROWSIC

A new direction for the longstanding quarterly newsletter The Arrowsic Arrow could be determined at a public meeting tonight.

Published quarterly for more than 16 years, the focus of The Arrowsic Arrow has been hyper-local, according to editor Quinn Blaiklock, who announced the meeting in The Arrow’s September edition.

The meeting will provide residents with an opportunity to discuss how The Arrow is produced and express public interest in diversifying content.

“It started off as a citizen newsletter,” said Blaiklock, adding that as circulation and postage costs increased funding came from the municipal budget. “Once the town was funding it, it changed flavors a little and was a very convenient way to get municipal news out to the town.

“There is a contingency who would like to see (The Arrow) stay more of a citizen-run newsletter,” said Blaiklock, “and there are others who would like to keep it as it is.”

While the content would still focus on news specific to Arrowsic and some stories pertaining to the immediate area, Blaiklock said The Arrow could offer more editorial content and human interest features.

Self-designated as a “compiler” rather than an “editor,” Blaiklock said she includes all submissions in the publication — content is not determined by the Arrowsic Board of Selectmen.

At Arrowsic’s June Town Meeting, residents passed a $9,000 budget line for administrative expenses, which included publication and distribution of The Arrow. At the Town Meeting, Selectman Bill Savedoff said publication had cost $250 per edition to send out to residents, but with the availability of the newsletter online, this was reduced to $40 per printing.

Arrowsic has also started using Google Groups, an online discussion forum service, to share municipal news in a more timely manner than a quarterly publication can afford, said Blaiklock.

“We could continue what we’re doing now, and do a combination of electronic with paper copies going out four times a year,” said Blaiklock. “We could switch entirely to electronic and still come out four times a year, or we could dispense with it all together.”

“We sent out a survey last fall to see if residents were interested in getting an electronic copy” in lieu of a posted copy in the mail, said Selectboard Chairperson Sukey Heard. “We have about 40 people who indicated that they would still like to receive a hard copy.”

Blaiklock, who has been the editor for six years, works entirely on a volunteer basis, said Heard, and the hard copies of the newsletter are often prepared for mailing at the town office.

“I’ve helped and our town clerk has helped,” with folding and affixing postage to envelopes, said Heard, which can be a time consuming project.

“Our clerk is already only at the office for a limited time; maybe that’s not the best use of the time she’s in the office?” said Heard. “We want to hear if there is still enough value in it for people to justify the cost.”

The direction of The Arrow is a citizen decision, Blaiklock said, adding that it is possible a decision could be made at the public meeting if residents express a clear preference.

“We do have an opportunity to spend some time on this and pay close attention to what residents want,” said Blaiklock. “We’ll come together as a town and make a conscientious decision.”

The public meeting to discuss the future of The Arrowsic Arrow will take place at 7 p.m. at the Arrowsic Town Hall, located at 340 Arrowsic Road. Residents who cannot attend may also email Quinn Blaiklock at [email protected]

THE PUBLIC MEETING to discuss the future of The Arrowsic Arrow will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Arrowsic Town Hall.


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