NEW: 38-Minute Message in a Bottle from a Small Town in Maine: How to Master Plan

March 21, 2014

Editor’s Note:  The town of Searsmont in Maine has about one-sixteenth the population of New Castle’s. Yet its 1,400 residents conducted a genuine Master Plan for their town and documented the effort in a 38-minute video that touches all the right points, really.  Like why you need a sense of humor.  And how, miraculously, people might disagree in discussions, but “it stays in the room” and people leave as the friends and neighbors they are.

Here are some excerpts, followed by the entire video.

It wasn’t too long before I wished we’d had some info from people who’d been through this before.  If you’re watching this you must be starting your plan…”


One important lesson is not to get defensive.  There are a few things that bear repeating and repeating: Growth is going to happen in any case. You let people know you’re making efforts to direct growth for a reason.


Meetings were open.  That’s how we picked up three of our members.


By the end, you walk out with your friends and neighbors.  You leave it in the room.


Why you need a sense of humor…


Comprehensive Planning from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

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