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John M. Prophet

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Member Since: Sep, 2001

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Getting Involved With Civic Affairs
12/24/2007 9:59:09 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

How I got myself hooked on civic affairs
I moved to Harwich, MA in 2000 after living in CA for 10 years. My only thoughts then were about enjoying a peaceful retirement. When I published my first book, Mystery at Salt Marsh Bridge in 2001, I donated a copy to the Brooks Free Library in town. The director asked me if I would be interested in starting a writers group. At the time, I had no idea what that was, but I used the Internet to guide me. I started two writers groups that I chaired for six years. A member of the group asked me to join the Harwich Cultural Council which I did in 2005. That same year, in November, the Board of Selectmen tasked the council to come up with a vision for the use of two dilapidated historic buildings, both built in 1871. So, the council went through the process of getting community input and the outcome was cultural centers. At the same time, in 2005, the Harwich Housing Committee formulated a plan to build affordable housing units on the historic sites, agreed with the council's idea and now in the works is a multi-purpose cultural center/affordable housing complex. Now, an architect is in the process of producing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to go out to bids to a contractor who will build the housing and renovate the buildiings to historic standards so that they can be registered. If this happens, then the Historic District will be changed drastically. The timing was right, when in October, 2007, I formed a group to upgrade the district to make it a target destination for tourists. Can you see how this works, how one thing leads to another when you have a sincere interest in the betterment of the town you live in? My retirement is now filled with expectations.

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More Blogs by John M. Prophet
•  Getting Involved With Civic Affairs - Monday, December 24, 2007  

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