FALMOUTH — In making his pitch to guide the town’s visioning process, David Beurle of Minnesota-based Future IQ said his methods would result in “realistic, actionable outcomes.”

However, at least a few residents are questioning why he was selected.

On Feb. 24, council watchdog John Winslow called Beurle a “misfit for Falmouth,” saying there doesn’t seem to be much alignment between his prior work and the town’s needs as it prepares an update to the Comprehensive Plan.

“I don’t see what qualifies him,” Winslow argued, while also questioning “why we keep spending money for plans we don’t use. We just keep spinning our wheels.”

Another resident, Lee Hanchett, agreed, and said if councilors are “really concerned about seniors and taxes you wouldn’t choose an overly elaborate consultant.”

David Beurle is the founder and CEO of Future IQ, a Minnesota-based consulting firm that Falmouth is considering hiring to help with its visioning process. Courtesy / Future IQ

The two particularly objected, they said, to the fact that most of Beurle’s work was for out-of-state communities and his work in Maine appears to be mostly tourism-related.

The council hasn’t committed to hiring Beurle yet and last week Council Chairwoman Amy Kuhn said a proposed scope of work will be on the agenda at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, to give the public a chance to weigh-in on both hiring Future IQ and the work it will be asked to do.

Kuhn said the town wants Beurle to help craft a new vision and values statement that will not only form the bedrock for a new Comprehensive Plan, but future policy-making decisions. She said the process will also play a key role in creating and implementing Falmouth’s new communication and outreach effort.

Town Manager Nathan Poore said last week the approximately $60,000 Beurle requested is within norms for this type of work. He said a supplemental budget appropriation is required and the money will come out of this year’s undesignated fund balance.

Poore and Theo Holtwijk, the town’s long-range planning director, worked alongside Kuhn and Councilor Jay Trickett to review the 13 applications Falmouth received in response to a Request for Qualifications issued in December.

The group, Poore said, narrowed the initial pool down to six firms chosen for in-person interviews, which included several from Maine, such as Spatial Alternatives in Yarmouth and Good Group Decisions in Brunswick. Among the firms interviewed, he said Beurle and Future IQ “caught our attention because of their emphasis on community engagement and data gathering and analysis.”

While Falmouth got responses from “very qualified local firms,” Poore said the Review Team agreed there was “some benefit in that Future IQ could provide objectivity and a clean slate.” He also said that Beurle has “a unique combination of skills,” including being a “skilled facilitator.”

In defending their recommendation to hire Beurle, Kuhn and Trickett said he offered the best and broadest community engagement options, including a process that’s driven from the bottom up and not the top down.

“What’s very attractive to me is that this is a process where the vision and values really come from the residents themselves,” Trickett said, praising Beurle for not looking to town officials and residents “to tell him what the issues are.”

Kuhn said while Beurle is from away, what “first distinguished Future IQ to me was their experience with similar communities across the country” where there’s “discomfort about the rate of change.”

Comments are not available on this story.