Gilford official says low turnout led to end of summer forum
GILFORD — Town officials have decided to save some town employees’ time by no longer holding a Summer Town Forum for summer residents.
The forum was started in the 1990s after a group of owners of summer homes in town asked for a meeting at which town issues could be discussed; it featured town employees giving their department reports.
“It was popular for a few years, and then people just stopped coming,” Selectman Richard Grenier said.
In recent years, there have been fewer residents than town employees at the forum.
So, at their weekly meeting Wednesday night, the selectmen decided to try going a year without the meeting, so there will be no forum this summer.
“It doesn’t save the town much money, but we decided to save our department heads and other town employees from having to give their reports to a few people,” Grenier said.
Any summer residents with concerns about town issues should contact the town office Grenier said.
The change seemed to make sense to town residents asked.
“I have not attended the summer forum for a few years, but it seems that it has not been well-attended,” said Sandy McGonagle.
“I was sad to learn about the summer forum being cancelled,” said Carol Anderson.
“I know, in past years, it was something that the summer residents looked forward to since it was their way of catching up on what was going on in town and their way of being able to voice their opinions to the town’s elected officials,” she said.
Summer residents should push for the forum’s return if they found it useful, she said.
“I hope that the island and summer residents will ask for this tradition to return and that they will take the time to attend such an event.”McGonagle agreed. “If summer residents and others would like to see it continue, I am certain that they will come forward,” she said.