The Town of Scarborough is seeking residents to join two newly formed ad hoc committees, the Downtown Development Committee and the Charter Review Committee. I have included some general information on each committee below. The committees will include seven voting member residents, two non-voting council members, support staff to facilitate research and the town attorney for items needing legal opinion on the Charter.

Downtown Development Committee:

As most Scarborough residents know, the Town of Scarborough and Crossroads Holdings LLC (Downs’s developers) entered into a financial partnership about two years ago. One of the key features of the agreement is The Downs will include a walkable and vibrant downtown in the 500-acre development. Additionally, written into the agreement is the opportunity for residents to apply for, and participate in, the Ad Hoc Downs Downtown District Advisory Committee.

The purpose of this committee is to give the Town Council and the developers input on what residents would like to see in the walkable downtown area located at the heart of The Downs. This committee offers a unique opportunity for citizens to directly influence the future of Scarborough. The Ad Hoc Downs Downtown District Advisory Committee will not be making any financial decisions; rather, it will aim to influence the downtown master plan that is ultimately to be brought to the Planning Board. If any of the committee’s input requires a financial discussion (e.g. it recommends a 5-acre park), the Town Council will be responsible for deciding on any “asks.” The committee’s work may also result in no “extras” and simply help guide the developers in what design elements would work the best for small businesses and Scarborough residents alike.There are few opportunities that allow developers, residents, and local government to work together toward a common positive goal. Please consider being involved.

Charter Review Committee:

A municipal charter is the basic document that defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of its government. It is comparable to the Constitution of the United States or a state’s constitution. The charter is, therefore, the most important legal document of any municipality.

Homepage:/government/town-ordinances/201-charter/

Scarborough has a Council — Manager style Charter and Section 1008 states “At least once every ten (10) years the Town Council shall appoint a committee to review the provisions of this Charter and make recommendations to the Town Council on any amendments deemed necessary or appropriate.” The recommendations will move to a townwide referendum vote for each item approved by the Town Council.

If you have been looking to become more involved in the Town of Scarborough, please consider participating in one or both of these committees. Applications for each committee can be found on the Town website Homepage: on the left side ‘Ad-Hoc Committee Applications.’ The deadline for applications has been extended until Nov. 9. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.

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