Andover Grapevine seeks to fill a need for town info
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Andover - posted Tue., May. 7, 2013
For years, Dianne Grenier produced an e-mail news list for the residents of Andover and others interested in town events. Originally called The Town Crier, the e-mail list included information about the events going on in town, gleaned from a number of local and regional newspapers, attendance at town meetings, and news bits passed along by friends and neighbors. The Town Crier faded away when the town first established its own website.
But when state mandates raised the bar on municipal posting requirements, smaller towns across Connecticut found it difficult to comply. Andover took a novel approach and declared its town website unofficial. Grenier, not wanting to leave Andover residents in the dark, resurrected her list as Andover This ‘N That. A private committee began working to put together a new site totally funded by private sources.
The run of Andover This ‘N That lasted for just about two years, much longer than Grenier originally bargained for, and ended in December of 2012. “I was expecting once the Andover Board of Selectman launched their new Andover town website that would fill the informational void for Andover residents,” said Grenier. “For whatever reason it has not, and I have heard from many residents how they miss getting updates on local happenings."
Grenier said that she will not be bringing back This ‘N That. “That was a very labor intensive endeavor that I do not wish to pursue again,” she said. Instead, Grenier has launched a new Facebook page called Andover Grapevine, “which I hope will serve the residents of Andover well,” she said.
“The Andover Grapevine is created by the residents of Andover, for the residents of Andover,” said Grenier. “The purpose of the Andover Grapevine Facebook page is to provide a vehicle for Andover residents to share information, ask questions and become informed of happenings in and around Andover that would be of interest to Andover residents. Its success depends on the participation of Andover residents.”
Grenier will serve as an administrator of the Facebook page, along with Peggy Wright. They “will monitor postings and will eliminate those we feel are inappropriate for the general public,” said Grenier.
The Andover Grapevine is in no way associated with, or approved by, any Andover town official, board or commission, said Grenier. “All information on this page is to be considered oh-so-unofficial, and solely for informational purposes by and for the residents of Andover,” she said.
To view The Andover Grapevine, go to www.facebook.com/andovergrapevine. Those with a Facebook account can like the page and have all postings directed to their e-mail inbox. Those without a Facebook account will be able to view the page, “but posting will not be directed to your e-mail inbox and you will not be allowed to post entries,” said Grenier.
“Postings to the Andover Grapevine from Andover residents are required to make this a useful vehicle,” said Grenier. “This site, unlike This ‘N That, will not be a one-person monologue. The intent is for all groups as well as individuals to participate.”