It’s been a quiet week in Harvard, or so it seems. After a festive holiday season—and just as winter has settled in—the town seems to be waking from a postprandial nap. The Press returned from its annual holiday hiatus to a mostly empty inbox and a dearth of breaking news. But we doubt that state of affairs will last long.
As we look ahead to the next six months, our work is clear. Budget season is just getting underway, and town departments and boards began lining up this week to present their fiscal 2020 spending and capital requests to the Select Board and Finance Committee. Needs and wants are sure to exceed the dollars available from taxpayers, and some hard decisions lie ahead. Complicating the spending picture, the town will soon begin construction of a new school, the most expensive in its history, and we’ll be here to help readers follow the ups and downs of its planning and construction. This spring, Harvard, along with Shirley and Ayer, will be asked to approve a zoning change that would allow the redevelopment of Vicksburg Square at Devens for multifamily housing, and, pending state approval, Harvard may soon host a marijuana oil manufacturing business, one of the first in the state.
These are just a few of the “hard” news items we’ll be following. They are the so-called broccoli of local journalism: Reading them is good for our small democracy by encouraging better oversight and decision making. But, of course, beyond Town Hall lies a community, alive with the people and events that give Harvard its unique character: our unsung heroes, the school plays, art and music events, the races and festivals and lectures, and the myriad community organizations from Scouts and the many town sports booster associations, to the League of Women Voters—to name just a few.
We’re a hyperlocal paper, and covering our government and community will be our primary job at the Press in the coming year. We welcome your suggestions. What have we overlooked? What can we do better? Send your suggestions to email@example.com or join our editor for coffee at the General Store this Friday morning, Jan. 11, from 9 to 10 a.m.