The Town Common Task Force (TCTF) organized the sixth in an ongoing series of Civic Gatherings, entitled “Connecting Anew for a Caring and Inclusive Community,” on October 17, 2018. The Network has been an active participant on the TCTF since its inception.

The first half of the program, moderated by Finance Committee Member Samantha Allison and Winchester for Educational Excellence (WFEE) Executive Director Caren Connelly, featured brief presentations by outgoing Town Manager Richard Howard, incoming Town Manager Lisa Wong, Director of the Council on Aging Phillip Beltz, School Committee member Michelle Bergstrom, and Committee Chair of the Winchester Archives Advisory Nancy Schrock.

Following a delicious snack provided by Koshari Mama, participants had the opportunity to gather at themed tables around the room for networking and the identification of possible collaborations. The topics addressed included: environmental concerns with Karl Rexer, Alan Fields, Susan McPhee, Jim Kilborn, and Ruth Trimarchi; public safety with Police Chief MacDonnell; cultural life, with Winchester Cultural Council members Shukong Ou and Peter Pulsifer and Library Director Ann Wirtanen; schools and youth, with School Committee members Michelle Bergstrom and Zeina Marchant; and the aging population with representatives of the Council on Aging and Winchester Seniors Association, including Phillip Beltz, Nancy Polcari, and Jane Murray.

This Civic Gathering provided an opportunity to thank our outgoing Town Manager, Richard Howard, and welcome our incoming Town Manager, Lisa Wong. A lovely cake in celebration of both was provided by Stop ‘n Shop, and the event was hosted by the Jenks Center, through a grant from the Cummings Foundation.

Participants reported appreciating the opportunity for networking, the breadth of areas and topics covered, the friendly tone, hearing from community leaders, and learning about success stories throughout town. Additional coverage and photos from the gathering can be found on the Winchester Star here. Many thanks to WinCAM for filming the event.