WING reaches out to public via the Internet (Aug. 28, 2008)

Aug. 28, 2008
By Tim Simard
Observer staff

WING committees have been hard at work developing new ideas for the future of Williston, and now the public can be kept up to date on all the progress through the Williston town Web site.

Town Environmental Planner Jessica Andreoletti, who has been working with the WING Steering Committee and attending its meetings, has updated the Web site to include summaries, reports and meeting news, as well as provide links to each WING group’s personal Web sites.

Andreoletti said the updates are designed to make it easier for the public to know what’s going on and to become more engaged in the WING process.

“The Web site will be really good for improving communication,” she said.

The site is accessible by going to the town’s Web site,, and clicking on the link for WING under the “Latest News” section in the right hand sidebar.

The Williston into the Next Generation event, better known as WING, was a gathering in April of more than 100 community members to discuss the future of Williston. Five committees were formed to continue the work started at the initial weekend meeting: a community potluck group, which aims to celebrate Williston’s heritage through community events; a group centered around forming a community center; a public transportation and recreation paths group; an environmental, or “green,” initiatives group; and a representative town meeting group.

Some of these five committees have been meeting regularly at town offices or private homes.

Last month, Andreoletti created online sites for each group by using the CollectiveX Web program. Group members can post news, comments and information for other members and the public. For instance, visitors to the Community Potluck Web site will be able to see what different members are talking about, and stay updated through meeting minutes and future meeting times.

Andreoletti also created a CollectiveX site for the WING Steering Committee. She said she learned about the site from members of the Green Initiatives committee, which had been using CollectiveX.

“This is good for the public to see what’s going on and good for the WING members to join and use,” Andreoletti said.

Anybody can view information on the six CollectiveX sites. Users join as members, for free, to post information and communicate with other members. Once signed up, people can blog ideas or post articles and news pertaining to certain topics, Andreoletti said. Having the individual Web sites will allow the groups to become self-sufficient and be on the same page in terms of communication.

Andreoletti said while the CollectiveX Web site sounds complicated, it’s easy to navigate and use. She said she’s already received good feedback from various group members and hopes the public will utilize the site to take a more active role in WING.

Other WING updates

Summer has proven to be a quiet few months for WING committee meetings, but group members have still been generating ideas, even with limited participation numbers, said Marcie Kass, WING Steering Committee member.

“We’re at a critical point where we need to keep it going to be successful,” Kass said.

Kass said the Steering Committee met in July and discussed what other groups had been doing. She said the Community Center group brainstormed different ideas and possibilities of where a center could exist in Williston. The Transportation and Paths group been updated by town workers about work on recreational paths, she added. That group’s next meeting is Sept. 4 at the Town Hall.

The Representative Town Meeting group has not met yet, but plans to next month, Kass said.

Les Hankins, a member of the Green Initiatives group, said members have met several times and are looking to bring their thoughts to the public. They’ve discussed several different ideas, including doing energy audits of different neighborhoods and homes in an effort to lower Williston’s carbon footprint. Hankins said the group meets again Sept. 9.

Kass said the Community Potluck group has been already scheduled its next community-wide event in conjunction with the beginning of the Old Brick Church Music Series. The group has even given itself a name — PING, or Potlucks Into the Next Generation. The potluck and concert, featuring the swing band Lewis Franco and the Missing Cats, will take place on Friday, Oct. 17.