Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Friday, December 28, 2007
Let's All Read the Paper!
So, let's get started and Read the Paper!
Here in Sturbridge we are very fortunate to have a different newspaper for almost everyone in town. Since Last summer we have three new papers start up. Two are still with us, and one has converted to magazine-hood, and we still have the old standby, The Southbridge Press. Today, we are reading The Tantasqua Town Common. I like this little paper. It's small, it's free, and so far, I enjoy the writing.
In the December 27th issue the front page has a few good stories leading one to the inside. One story, "Preservation committee loses two members" is a timely piece. It seems that two members of the Community Preservation Committee have abruptly resigned. Carol Childress and Russel Chamberlain have both tendered their resignations.
This is very sad.
Both individuals are a tremendous asset to the Town, and now -poof- they are gone. Each had their own reasons. Childress cited personal reasons in her resignation, but later stated in a telephone interview that Sturbridge has done very well with preservation, and was way ahead of other towns. Like Kansas City in the old song, "..they've gone about as far as they can go". She hopes to work in Brookfield, and lend her talents to that town.
Russel Chamberlain, on the other hand, offers a totally different reason. He stated he is afraid of CPC member Edwin Goodwin Sr. Mr. Goodwin Sr., as you will recall, was the Slap Master at the Bozo Fest during the Selectmen's meeting a couple of weeks ago. (see previous posts).
The Town government of Sturbridge has got to wake up. There will be more resignations in the future. Meanwhile, we, the residents of the town sit by and watch all we have and hoped for in this town crumble.
The next front page story is entitled, "Baking company breaks bread, breaks free". The Sturbridge Baking Company is now gone. The owner for the last five years, Alina Eisenhauer, stated that the Town has made bad decisions for businesses, and that many have left for greener pastures because of the towns lack of willingness to let businesses grow. "The tourism has declined so much there's no foot traffic. And all of this is about decisions made by the Town on development.", she stated.
This is a truly sad situation. Here we have a successful business woman closing shop, selling it, and moving out of town because of how the Town treats businesses.
Well, there you have it, two separate stories from the front page of the Tantasqua Town Common. Two separate, but very similar stories, and they both point at the government of our Town of Stubridge.
So, what now. what do we do as residents, as citizens of this Town? Well, we can't revolt, some of us, including myself, are revolting enough. But, we can raise a ruckus. (always liked that word-ruckus, just never knew when to use it till now).
Remember, I'm just the catalyst here, but I think it's high time the residents of this town let the members of the Board of Selectmen, and the Town Administrator know exactly how we feel about the behavior of the towns board members, the lack of consideration given to consulting firms hired by the town, the negative direction the Town is taking regarding businesses, and while they're at it, tell them about your bunions, too.
Might as well unload it all.
Pass on this Blog to friends, and relatives in town, and have them add their comments, write the editors of our papers, encourage the papers to follow up on the stories that I mentioned today. Make some noise out there, otherwise in a few years time, this beautiful town of ours is going to be a wasteland. We can blame the boards, committees, and certain individuals now, but in a short time, we will have only ourselves to blame.
Oh, and one more thing. The next time an episode occurs in our Town Hall like the one that happened at the Selectmen's meeting a couple of weeks ago somebody had better give a jingle to the Boston TV stations. In fact, I think it would be great if Channel 5's "Chronicle" did an episode on our town. In the meantime, be sure to bring your video camera to the meetings.
It's time to stir the pot a bit.