SCARBOROUGH — Scarborough Community Connections is hosting a free workshop on Jan. 14; the goal is to engage in thoughtful, civil discussion about local issues and topics.

The group of volunteers will be hosting the free discussion from 6-8 p.m. at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, 350 U.S. Route 1 in Scarborough, and light refreshments will be served. No registration is necessary, said volunteer Michele Martin.

“The event is an opportunity for Scarborough residents with diverse interests to come together to listen and express their thoughts about Scarborough’s future,” said Martin. “The conversations will offer an experience in how to sustain civility without compromising our values and will use the question of how we make decisions on investing tax dollars as a basis for discussion. Scarborough Community Connections volunteers will host and lead the workshop.”

Scarborough Community Connections is about a year old, she said, and the group wants to provide opportunities for civil discussions.

“Coming out of the One Scarborough Community Conversation held at Camp Ketcha in December of 2018, this group wanted to continue the positive work and dialogue that was had among Scarborough community members,” she said.

There are four ways that the group said they believe this can be achieved: “approach topics with an open and understanding mind; listen to and embrace diverse opinions to develop the best solutions for the community; learn to effectively agree to disagree; and recognize public decision making is an untidy process, yet the community can still move forward regardless of outcomes.”

According to the group’s Facebook page, there are currently 11 volunteers. They are Jonathan Anderson, Janice Cohen, Katy Foley Randi Hogan, Phillip “Dick” LaRou, Michele Martin, Dana Morris-Jones, Steve Thibodeau Jillian Trapini-Huff, Scott Woodard and Maggie Vishneau.

“We are hopeful that many Scarborough residents will attend and join us in our effort to build positive, productive dialogue in our community, which we can ultimately apply to any issues or topics that arise here in our town,” said group member Jonathan Anderson.

Anyone interested can email or call 553-0424.

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