Now then, if some of our local merchants are forced to shut down (and hopefully this will not be the case), the likelihood they will be replaced by others is slim, since the national chain stores will likely continue to be the negative competing force that makes this happen. One can only speculate as to what will be left but whatever it is, it will be different from what it is today. The developer of Home Depot says he welcomes competition from Lowe's ( kind of like the battle of titans), but what about the smaller stores that sell lumber, paint, hardware, appliances, et cetera?
Within this context, what can be done? For starters, we need to start attending meetings and ask tough and provocative questions. We need to begin acting on the answers. We need to walk the talk. For example, why are we not at least discussing controls, restraints or temporary moratoriums such as those implemented by many other New Hampshire towns? Has anyone looked into the admittedly controversial subject of impact fees? When are we going to get serious about the concept of planned and managed growth? Is it in the town's Master Plan? Has the Master Plan been given a recent reality check?