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Select Board discusses future of Upper Charles Trail Committee

by | May 9, 2023 | Featured: News, News

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, board members discussed the future of the Upper Charles Trail Committee following the May 2 Town Meeting non-binding vote to disband the committee.

Select Board chair Amy Ritterbusch said she felt a “need to take a major action” — perhaps changing the charge from the Select Board to the UCTC and changing the makeup of the UCTC — but other Select Board members said they were not prepared to make any immediate changes.

Board members proposed a joint working session with the UCTC, the Trails Coordination and Management Committee and town personnel as well as a public forum, although they first will seek feedback from both committees regarding a plan to move forward.

Ritterbusch noted that “the public was very clear” about its opinion, and suggested the UCTC’s work be put on hold.

“I think it is clear from what we heard at Town Meeting that the public wants a major change in the committee,” Ritterbusch said. “They both didn’t like the Segment 7 [along] Hayden Rowe and they didn’t feel heard or that they were communicated well with.”

Select Board member Irfan Nasrullah said dissolving the committee is “way too drastic,” although a review of the UCTC’s work would help.

“The public has spoken, and it was a pretty resounding vote,” he said. “I keep going back to institutional knowledge and everything the current board knows and has worked on, and I don’t want to see that go away. I like the idea of revisiting the charge and having the committee kind of examine whether or not they’ve met the goals in the charge, providing recommendations.”

Seven members of the UCTC spoke during public comment, with some defending the work of the committee and others opining that some sort of change is warranted. UCTC member Scott Knous suggested the UCTC be given an opportunity to hold its next meeting to discuss the results of the Town Meeting vote and come up with recommendations.