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Meet Nicolas Resca, a Lee teen who is helping the town rewrite its master plan


Nicolas Resca is blazing a path for teens to have an impact on local government.

LEE — Nicolas Resca is a junior at Lee Middle/High School who is into science and technology, and video games.

Lately, he is also into crafting a new master plan to guide the town’s land use for the coming two or three decades.

Resca, 17, was suggested to the Master Plan Steering Committee‘s chairman Peter Bluhm as a potential committee member. Bluhm quickly realized that Resca checked several unchecked boxes for the makeup of the committee, largely because of his age.

“In making a master plan, we’re always thinking about the future,” Bluhm said. “But everybody on the committee is in the ‘white-hair’ age group. We need someone who is going to be here for a long time, who will be here to see the plan in use, moreso than the rest of us. We definitely want to engage the younger crowd.”

The master plan is a vision for the town’s future and should serve as a guide for the creation and use of zoning regulations, special permits and other regulatory issues — an overview of the town’s zoning approach. The last master plan was drawn up around 2000.

Bluhm said that Resca has only been to two meetings so far, and is still becoming familiar with the meeting format, his fellow committee members, and a better feeling on when to speak, and when not to.

“He is very thoughtful, observant and cautious,” Bluhm said of Resca. “It’s a pretty daunting challenge for any high school student. But I think he’s doing well.”

Resca said he is interested in working with the town and that the Master Plan Steering Committee seemed like a good start.

“I just want to have a say in my town,” he said, sitting in the high school library after school. And from what he’s seen in the meetings so far, “they really are trying to build a better future for the next generations.”

He said that the first two meetings showed him that there are some things he’ll need to familiarize himself with.

“At first it was definitely a learning curve and it felt a little awkward,” he said.

Like other committee members, Resca is trying to envision what the town should look like 30 years, but to get there, he said, “we need to be getting more community input. We need to hear about what people like, and what they would like in the future. We’ve got some good people on the committee and I think we’re on track.”

He hopes to help the committee understand what they can do to help “foster students like me, how to speak to students in ways that interest them.”

Aside from the steering committee and high school classes, Resca likes normal things like video games and dogs, while working part-time at Carr Hardware. Last year he was a runner on the cross-country team. He also has other interests, like theater arts and studying science, technology, engineering and math. He has two sisters, one of which is his twin. He is seriously considering founding a robotics club at the high school.

Resca doesn’t think someone could be naturally talented at engineering and technology, but rather that if someone works hard enough they can become good at it.

“It’s not a matter of being good at something, it’s all about the effort it takes to get you there,” he said.

Lee is updating its master plan. It's seeking public input on Feb. 18

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-281-4622.

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