To the Claremont City Council,

With all the great things happening in Claremont, I am of the opinion it is now time to start the conversation to find the funding for beautification and maintenance of downtown and other targeted areas within the city.

To date, volunteers and donated money from citizens and businesses has funded the flowers, plants, and combined with countless hours of much loving labor given by many over the last number of years. Notably, John Lambert, David and Kylie Messier, John and Laurel Hall, Bob and Charlene Lovett, the Gardening Club, Christine Charest, Abigail and Matt Kier, Allen and Jody Damren and many other caring people that have brought much in the way of personal funds, organizing donations of equipment, plants, flowers, mulch and other needed items, countless hours of labor all to make Claremont look great and for us all to have pride in Claremont.

Many comments followed concerning how beautiful the downtown looked. With all the changes planned, it would now be prudent to have consistency and organization moving forward to keep the downtown looking beautiful with a selection of plants and flowers.

Coordinating all this effort and having a city point person with a plan of action, structured to reflect us all and the community would be my recommendation. We can see the past efforts at the bullpen, the City Hall, on Pleasant Street, Broad Street Park, Stevens High School, at the entrances of Arrowhead, Monadnock Park, Moody Park, our Amtrak train station and more locations. We can also see where some of the previous efforts have been changed, moved, ruined or ignored due to a myriad of reasons. Past efforts have all experienced rivalry, different ideas and opinions, causing issues between groups and individuals but all with the same goal of making Claremont better for all.

It is to this end I wish to encourage our city council to strongly consider a city employee or gardener to take over the beautification and downtown coordination of planting, whether to use perennials, or annuals, where, why, and how, volunteers efforts, lighting, and anything else related.

Please consider this as you look at the budget and allocation of funds.

Michael Charest

Claremont

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