The Barrington Times will be asking candidates for Town Council and School Committee a question every week leading up to the Nov. 6 election. Candidates have a 40 word limit for. Here is the second question for Town Council candidates:
What initiatives do you believe the town should pursue that would benefit the Barrington business community and local economic development? Please be specific.
KATE WEYMOUTH — “Short of establishing a part-time economic development resource, we could assist ‘Shop Local’ initiatives by including a business map/telephone directory within the town calendar, and distributing a collectively-designed reusable bag, promoting a visible, cohesive and vibrant Business Association.”
DON NESSING – “Whether it’s deserved or not, the town does have a reputation for being unfriendly to business. I know there is dissatisfaction with the sign ordinance. A robust review with business input would be a good place to start.”
ANN STRONG – “Streamline burdensome permitting process. Often, applicant presents to/receives comments from TRC and individual departments before planning. Conflicts arise once business applicant appears before planning for final approval. Planning board oversees comprehensive plan and should be one-stop-shop.”
MARGARET KANE – “Barrington has a reputation of business ‘unfriendliness.’ I propose an ad hoc group of local businesses meet with the council to consider specific remedial actions, e.g. a more liberal regulation on signage. Let’s attract more businesses — not drive them away.”
SHIRLEY APPLEGATE-LOCKRIDGE – “Before initiating any new program, the council should conduct a public workshop with the Barrington Business Association to identify the specific needs of local businesses and to consider programs that respond to those needs while preserving our town’s suburban character.”
JUNE SPEAKMAN – “Establish an Economic Development Board similar to the Warren model, seek input from the business community on a rewrite of the sign ordinance, and erect way finding signs at key intersections.”