I accepted the Lakes Region Listens published invitation to participate in a thoughtful conversation with other local residents about what priorities we thought our communities and regions should reflect in the future. The meeting was held May 7th at the Laconia MIddle School from 6 to 9 p.m.. It was reported out the next day that 117 people attended the meeting. In the focus group, I joined there were 12 to 15 individuals representing the towns of Tamworth, Bristol, Gilford, Meredith, and Laconia. Our facilitator made sure each member of the group had ample opportunity to put forth his or her ideas respectfully and listen to others' ideas, also respectfully. While we did not all agree with every concern we listed, we never even considered leaving any priority off the list when we reported all concerns out loud to the larger group at the end of the meeting. Furthermore, after hearing all the focus groups report that night it occurred to me that we have more in common than we have differences.
Hopefully, if future discussions are held we can come to consensus on some priorities and figure out how to move forward together. It would be a positive step in the right direction instead of the impasse we experience on a national and local level almost daily.
Kay M. Anderson