It took two years and eight major public forums to create a Land Use Plan for the 4,000 acres, mostly flood plain, called the Meadows that borders the Connecticut River in Northampton. Now, three years later, the City's Best Practices Committee brings together several participants to record the story of what many consider a difficult but largely successful public process. This forum took place on August 25, 2008 at JFK Middle School. Attendees included former Ward 3 City Councilor Marilyn Richards, current Ward 3 Councilor Bob Reckman, (then Ward 3 Neighborhood Association President), Gerald Budgar, organizer of the Meadows Coalition, Director of Planning Wayne Feiden and Senior Planner Carolyn Misch. "We want to record as many voices as possible," explains Lisa DePiano, co-chair of the Committee, "why people acted, what they did, and how they felt about the process." The Committee is researching models for best government practices and will make recommendations to the City Council later in the year.

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