Letter to the Editor: Mount Abe option is worthy studying

Steve Harris’s essay entitled “A Slight Course Correction” in the Addison Independent’s Jan. 4, 2017 edition provides great food for thought. Steve makes a solid case for expanding objectives at Mt. Abe while reducing costs in hopes of producing better results. This is exactly the sort of thinking we should be employing.
Steve promotes four key goals: enrollment expansion, population increase, tax containment, and talent retention. Enrollment expansion might include getting more of the community enrolled in life-long learning without requiring significant population increase.
Tax containment is a must and may be supported by improved productivity resulting from filling the empty existing spaces and expanding the types of uses.
Talent retention should improve if the educational menu is more directly — though not entirely — associated with high quality, local employment opportunities. Weaving cultural resilience and ecological renewal into the mix as Steve suggests are also essential.
We should give careful consideration to Steve’s ideas. Let’s see if development should be more of the focus as opposed to growth. Let’s also be certain that ethics is part of every equation and that the economic benefits are optimized across our whole community.
Careful life cycle analyses should be employed to thoroughly assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various building options.
There are lots of ways to move forward. Let’s be sure the choices we make and the paths we take are prudent ones. Thanks to Steve for opening us up to this larger perspective.
David Brynn, Bristol

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