The Institute for Cultural Affairs, a non-profit research group, held a "Town Meeting" in Athens as part of an 11 county tour that lasted three weeks.
No town officials or civic leaders attended the meeting; however citizens ranging from ministers to retirees did attend to discuss the underlying or root causes for community social concerns.
According to organizers John Lindstrom and Jean Gerold, they were not there to preempt town government, but to experiment with what it meant to be a citizen involved in a community.
Attendees indicated that the meeting was not what they were expecting, in that it didn't provide answers or information concerning serious issues of concern such as revitalization, zoning laws, increases in water and sewage rates, and poor street maintenance.
The discussion led to ideas regarding community involvement projects such as Fourth of July celebrations, an increase in church/schools involvement, increased involvement with Mercer County Planner Fred Parkers and the Princeton Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, and more retail businesses in the downtown area.
Also discussed were a need for increased communications with Concord College, publication of the town's zoning laws, and the creation of incentives for annexation.
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