Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Brain Power Cogitates On Wellfleet’s Future

Now that I have your attention, Monday afternoon found me at town hall for the last Economic Development Committee meeting of 2009. This committee is like no other I have witnessed in Wellfleet. Members all approach economic development from different angles but with determination to effect positive change. Everyone knows how to listen and synthesize material. There are five retired professionals, three men and two women from teaching to corporate management; Sam Bradford and Alex Hay of Mac’s Seafood, both thirty-something and vibrant. And, me, a bed & breakfast owner. Rex Peterson, our liaison, is now in charge of the newly formed Office of Tourism, a direct result of the first six months of committee work. One of the other major conclusions, the town’s need for a comprehensive Web site, has already been partially funded. Both recommendations were embraced by town government. Who doesn’t want to be a member of a committee that has succeeded so fast and so well?

Chair Paul Pilcher has experience on several other important town committees, including the Housing Authority, and is the town's rep to the Cape Cod Commission. Paul runs a tight ship. The meeting always starts at 4 and ends at 5:30. Everyone is encouraged to participate. In sum, being on this committee is pure pleasure.

It’s easy to walk a path that others have blazed. Sometimes one needs to get off the beaten track, the way a dog must have done on this beach, and dig a bit. Who knows what one may find?

Paul’s willingness to dig brought results on Monday. The committee received Tom and Angela Keer, a thirty-something couple who decided to settle and raise children in Wellfleet. They run several successful home-based businesses using the Internet. Angela explained “branding,” an interesting concept which I already apply to Chez Sven. I was particularly stuck by their description of promoting the “essence” of Wellfleet, our committee’s goal from the start. We have often discussed how to draw young people to live in a town where home ownership was a challenge due to real estate prices. Here were two people proving it could be done.

We all want to preserve the “essence” of Wellfleet, a special place of peace, solitude and beauty, where it's possible to be gainfully employed year-round. For you, what is the essence of Wellfleet? What would convince you to resettle here?

(Below, a photo of the Blasch house, here in Wellfleet, seen from Duck Harbor Road, posted in response to Zuleme’s comment yesterday. And, yes, Shelly, I often thank President Kennedy for his foresight in creating the marvelous nature park that constitutes 61% of the landmass in our town.)