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Patton Committee Begins to Take Shape; What's the Best Use?

Seven of the 10 members of the Patton Family Gift Advisory Committee were named on Monday.

The future of the Patton estate in Hamilton will begin to be decided in coming weeks by a group of 10 citizens that will make a recommendation to Town Meeting in May.

Joanne Patton . Town Meeting voters will need to vote to accept the gift and a committee has been named to determine how the town can best use the property.

This week, seven of the committee members were officially named and the Hamilton Board of Selectmen said eight community members have expressed interest in filling the three at-large spots on the committee.

“We are receiving a lot of interest,” said Jennifer Scuteri, chairman of the Hamilton Board of Selectmen.

On Monday, the board approved committee members Planning Board Chairman Peter Clark, Zoning Board of Appeals member John Rodenhizer, Community Preservation Committee member Tom Cotalano, Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Commission Chairman John Cusolito and Conservation Commission member Stacy Carpenter. The Board of Selectmen also named Scuteri and Selectmen Marc Johnson to the committee.

The committee plans to meet for the first time on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at to survey the skills, background and resume of the committee members to determine what selectmen will look for in filling the final three spots.

The Board of Selectmen will name the final three members when it meets on Feb. 6. Two of the board’s five members, Dave Carey and Marc Johnson, will not be able to attend the meeting and initially Scuteri said she wanted all five members to take part in the decision.

“I think it means a lot to a lot of these people and I’d like to have a full board to make the decision,” Scuteri said. In the end, though, it was determined that the final three at-large members will be named on Feb. 6.

But what do you think should happen with the property? Some of the ideas that have already been suggested are listed in a poll below. And multiple uses of the property are possible. Or offer up your own idea in the comments section.

This article has been corrected to reflect that Feb. 6, and not Feb. 13, is the date the three at-large members will be named to the committee.

L. R. Hsia January 31, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Need to raise monies to support facilities and deferred maintenance (endowment?). Some part of house a Museum. Possibly a B + B to make money. Be careful of wetlands, zoning, traffic. NO DEVEOPMENT / SUBDIVISION. Open Space.
Sue Kassirer February 01, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Joanne Patton is a big proponent of the arts, perhaps a sculpture park aspect to the property?
L. R. Hsia February 01, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Sue - good idea. expanding on that theme - how about art space - and workshops in the arts. Mrs. Patton's son loves art and is a good painter. There is one piece of art outside the house (or there was years ago) that the General brought home from the war for his dog. I hope it remains. (No details - that has to come from family. Ha Ha!)
Barbara Lawrence February 02, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I think the survey should allow respondents to check all the boxes because this project may require permitting multiple and compatible uses to be viable. In addition, there is no option for OTHER, which would allow people to share their ideas. Barbara Lawrence
Robert Gates (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Please feel free to use the comments section to explain how you would suggest combining multiple uses. Also, the comment section can be used to introduce new ideas.
Sue Hersee February 06, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Would anyone be interested in a Dog Park. It wouldn't take up too much space.
Jennifer Flynn February 07, 2012 at 05:26 PM
solar panels, eco village, wind turbine, more farming, a community green house?
RICHARD BARBATO March 28, 2012 at 08:58 PM
An interpretive museum depicting the historical significance of the home, the connection to the Patton family, their contribution to history and to the community would be great. Here, you have a home, encapsulated in which is the material historical culture of arguably the most famous military family in the United States (Not to mention Joanne Pattons own family contributions, the Holbrooks). Of the thousands of artifacts contained within the new multi-million dollar Infantry museum at Fort Benning, the one artifact all are drawn to and seek out, is the 2nd Armored Division sweatshirt which belonged to General Patton and which is on prominent, permanent display. Imagine what the draw would be for a home filled with artifacts and mementos depicting the illustrious careers of General and Major General Patton! Thats my vote, I can only hope others recognize the national historical value of this most generous gift. -Rich Barbato, Ipswich, Massachusetts.

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