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Farewell from Tom Hutcheson

Please see the statement below if you didn’t already see it in Conway Currents. I hope to see some of you at the Conway Inn in future times!

I would like to thank the Town of Conway for the privilege of serving as its Town Administrator for over seven and a half years. I have enjoyed getting to know the remarkably talented people and the extraordinary beauty of the landscape.

One of the highlights has been the fall meeting of all committee chairs and department heads, each briefly sharing what they had been doing, what they were in the midst of doing, and what their plans were for the next year. I was consistently impressed by the level of commitment and ability shown by those who help keep Conway a vibrant community, one that manages to function well in a broader atmosphere of paying more attention to personal needs than the needs of the greater community within which we live.

Challenges remain—a long-term vision for the town based on extensive participation needs to be set out at the level of objectives and tasks, and resources directed strategically toward long-term ecological sustainability. My dream of using Town Forest resources for re-building and maintaining Conway’s town bridges as covered bridges didn’t get far, but is still worth mentioning as the kind of thinking that will help the town be less dependent on systems that are in the end not sustainable.

My more realistic goal of integrating the towns geographic information system, maintained by the Assessors, with school curricula, also did not more forward, but has a chance as civic education once again becomes a priority on schools at all levels. The Town Academy produced a civic education program for adults, with the goal of producing better arguments at Town Meeting—not eliminating them, as that would be undesirable (and of course impossible), but making them better informed, so the debate is more finely tuned.

My own work stands in the records of meetings over the few years I was here, but the work of Conway as a town will go on so long as there are those who treasure self-rule and self-reliance. Based on what I’ve seen, that will be for a long time to come.

Thank you again for allowing me to help you maintain your community.