Marion resident vying for vacant Planning Board seat

Apr 18, 2017

Chris Collings wants your vote. Your write-in vote, that is.

In the upcoming town election, there are three open seats on the Planning Board but only two candidates on the ballot. Collings hopes to earn the third seat.

“I came to it quite late, but this year I have the time and ability, so I thought I would go for it,” he said.

One of the big issues Collings thinks the town is facing is infrastructure problems, particularly in regards to the sewer system.

“You can’t build a castle on gravel,” he said. “The sewer system issues have to be resolved.”

Collings comes armed with solutions. He feels the best solution for Marion's sewer problems is to regionalize the system.  “If you aren’t going to regionalize then there’s a whole lot of town growth you don’t have to talk about because you can’t do it,” he said.

He also noted that until that problem is solved it’s hard for the town to move forward.

Collings also stressed the importance of the Master Plan.

“We should be planning long term," he said. “We need a town plan, we need to manage town assets.”

Collings noted that he was a member of the Fireworks Committee years ago. Recently he’s concentrated more on following along with the big issues in town and speaking up at Town Meeting. Now, he hopes to be more directly involved in town development.

“I think we all see the specialness of this place,” he said. “I’m a straightforward guy so I think it would make sense to participate. I’ve gone to [Planning Board] meetings and I’d like to help.”

Professionally, Collings has played a number of roles, and is currently employed as a project manager in the construction industry. But as a member of the Planning Board, his objective is straightforward – maintaining Marion’s character.

“My politics on the subject are more about balanced development for the town,” he said. “We need to keep what we love and we need to make sure that everyone works within the rules set up, and that’s a lot of what the Planning Board does.