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Joyce Endee

Whole Village merges with Lakes Region United Way

Plymouth Select Board Chairperson Valerie Scarborough presents a plaque recognizing the dedicated service of outgoing Planning Board member John Krueckeberg during Monday evening's regular board meeting at Town Hall. Krueckeberg has served on the Planning Board since 2002, most recently as Chairman. (Courtesy) (click for larger version)
March 30, 2011
PLYMOUTH—Whole Village Family Resource Center Executive Director Joyce Palmer Monday night told the Select Board that the Plymouth-based social service agency is joining forces with the Lakes Region United Way in order to create a solid, sustainable future for its services and programs in Eastern Grafton County.

The merger was made official at a signing ceremony on Monday, and will become effective on Friday, April 1.

Palmer said that the decision to merge was made after more than a year of thoughtful discussions on sustainability and a great deal of soul searching by members of the Whole Village Board of Directors. She thanked those Board members for their hard work and expressed her great appreciation for everything they have done to help make the transition possible.

In a statement issued by the Lakes Region United Way on Monday, Whole Village Board Chair Will Abbott explained, "It has always been our mission to deliver critical support to families in need in our service area, and to do this in a manner that is sustainable. This merger will ensure our ability to continue providing a campus from which social service agencies in the area operate, parenting workshops are available to the community, families in need receive case management, and high quality, affordable childcare is available."

Palmer said that there will be no staff layoffs as a result of the merger, and the public will notice "very little change" in programs and services. The agency will continue to operate under the Trade name Whole Village Family Resource Center. Lakes Region Child Care will take over the day to day operation of the Childcare Center, bringing a wealth of expertise and additional resources to the agency.

According to the Lakes Region United Way, Palmer will continue on at the Whole Village as the United Way's Regional Director for Eastern Grafton County. Administrative efficiencies made possible by the merger will free up more of her time for outreach and development. The Whole Village Board of Directors will be dissolved, with three of the members being placed on the Lakes Region United Way Board and others establishing advisory committees for the local area.

Palmer said that this new structure will open up many opportunities to bring new volunteers into service at the Whole Village.

In other business, the Plymouth Select Board Monday night also voted to approve the Plymouth Energy Commission's request to increase its size from five to seven members, with three appointed alternates. The recommendation to increase the commission was presented to the board by Paul Phillips, who said that after a year of intense activity, the commissioners were feeling the need to spread the workload more broadly. He noted that the Commission was losing the invaluable services of Steve Kahl and Patrice Scott, who have both contributed immensely to the effectiveness of the Commission.

Select Board member Ray Gosney pointed out that the Plymouth Energy Commission is doing "trailblazing" work as one of the first Energy Commissions in the state, and noted that Phillips would be presenting a talk at an upcoming statewide conference on the subject of establishing a Town Energy Commission.

During discussions on Monday night, Select Board member Charlie Buhrman introduced the idea of adopting a Student Party Ordinance in Plymouth --modeled after a Holderness ordinance that he says seems to be very effective. The proposed ordinance would levy heavy fines (up to $300) to all tenants of an apartment where a noise disturbance occurs, with doubling of fines for second offenses. Such an ordinance would have to be drafted by the Planning Board and passed at Town Meeting before taking effect.

The consensus of the board members was that a good first step would be to ask Police Chief Steve Temperino to investigate the Holderness ordinance, and determine whether other towns like Durham and Keene use a similar ordinance to help reduce disorderly noise and nuisance in residential neighborhoods.

PSU's Dean of Students, Tim Keefe, said that he felt that there were already many good targeted ordinances on the books in Plymouth, but he suggested their effectiveness depends critically on making certain that the Police Department has the resources to undertake adequate enforcement of existing ordinances.

Select Board Chairperson Valerie Scarborough announced the Select Board Committee assignments for the upcoming year. Newly elected members Mike Conklin and Dick Lewis accepted roles as liaison to several committees. Conklin will serve as a representative to the Plymouth Village Water and Sewer Commission and the Energy Committee. Lewis accepted assignments to the conservation Committee, and as an alternate on the Planning Board and an alternate on the PSU Community Task Force. Gosney is the regular Select Board representative, and Scarborough is a member of the PSU Task Force.

The new Plymouth School District representative will be Burhman. He will also serve with Gosney on the Union Negotiating Committee, the Time Warner Cable Committee, and with Scarborough on the Ambulance Committee. Scarborough will also serve on the Highway/Public Safety Committee and the College/Community Council.


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