Autumn in the North Cemetery.

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

Monday, February 16, 2009

Election Prep 101

I've always had in the back of my head to run for local office. I don't know why exactly, maybe it's a sense of duty, a giving back in a way. What stops me is the fact that I am not qualified to do anything in town government. Oh, I can sit back here and voice my opinion on a myriad of things that I believe need changing, or implementation, you know, coffee shop talk, but to actually be good, and accountable in an office, that may be just beyond my abilities.

I have to admire those that do throw their hats into the ring. The other day, a neighbor stopped by and asked us to sign papers in order to put herself on the ballot for school committee. We signed, and if elected, I know she will do a fine job. I don't know her too well, but what I do know about her in the almost three years I have been here on Route 148, is that she is a good person. That's a sure qualifier, being a good person.

Being a good person is something that one is, or they ain't. One can pretend to be good, as many in politics do, but they are found out pretty early on. Unfortunately, that "early on" is often after the election. Being a good person encompasses a lot of variables. The Golden Rule is something a good person abides by everyday, that's just for starters. A good person will most always put another first before themselves. I think of my self as being good, but I don't think I would hesitate to eat a fellow a survivor, if I was ever stranded in the Andes, even before they were ready.

I have some things to work on.

A good person will have a thick skin and not let the slings and arrows of office affect them in a way that may be detrimental to those doing the slinging. I have a thick skin, but I know I would secretly Saran Wrap the toilet seat in the restroom of the Town Hall as a sort of "tit for tat" against the slingers.

When a person decides to run for a particular office one of the first thoughts that run through their head is, "Hey, I could do that, in fact, I could do it better!". That is the first step to doing more, and a better good. The next step is to share those "better" thoughts with others. They will either applaud the thoughts, or rip the person a new one. Very seldom is there an in between, but those that are not only good, but smart enough to allow compromise into their efforts, will be the ones that succeed.

So, to run for office one not only has to be a good person, but smart, and have an ability to compromise as well. All good traits for any one, not just a politician.

I have a lot of good traits, but I also have a number of ones that would not be displayed best in the Land of Public Office. Minor things, quirky things. Things I know could be improved, but most of these quirks I enjoy too much to change at this stage of the game.

Well, that rules me out as a candidate, but what about others? If one has a history of being a decent person, with a reputation of putting others first, community service, a knowledge of what is needed in the particular office, a track record of prudent ideas, and improvements in other areas that could be carried into office, then that person is worth a look. Now, not every good person will appeal to all the voters. Personality has a way of weighing more than actual knowledge at times.

The gregarious clown, or the timid bank clerk may meet all the other qualifications, but it is how they present themselves, not necessarily their ideas, that first spark the synapses of the voters brain in a positive way. After the brain says, "OK, so far so good, let's listen to more." then the actual weighing of the information the candidate has to offer can begin.

We're coming into election season here in Sturbridge, and many good, decent people are going to run for office. It is time for us, the voters, to shake out of our heads all the preconceived notions about the candidates. Start fresh. Look at not only what they have to offer to the town, but who they are as a person as well. They may have the best ideas, but are no more than a well spoken ignoramus.

Once the weighing of each candidate is complete, then vote for the one that you feel has the most good qualities, and ideas, to bring to the service of the town.

It's just that simple, but so often we tend to be swayed by personality, looks, reputation, mannerisms, education, or the organizations they belong to.

This time, not only weigh their words, but weigh their hearts.

That way one can't make a bad choice.


  1. You are correct and that is why the Town needs people of good heart to run for selectmen the 2 that are running now (Creamer and Ehrhard) have no hearts. Sturbridge needs people of good character to step up and run. We need people who will put Sturbridge first.

  2. Well said but the trouble is the well spoken ignoramus has paralyzed any potention good candidate. Who would want to run and be harrassed and ridiculed? No one wants to run right now except of course those who have a financial gain from projects such as rt 15 and rt 20. The ignoramus has paralyzed this town. From this point on, unless someone can step up to the plate and run, our small town is lost.

  3. I know you are correct. The bully has paralyzed this town. No decent person who has the good of the town in mind wants to subject themselves to verbal and written hostility being ridiculed and degraded just for having a different point of view from him. It will take a strong willed thick skinned person to take verbal and written beatings from TRC. He isn’t going to change his ways if he is elected a selectman. He will become worse because he will have political power to hurt who he disagrees with. Last year there were around eight candidates running this year only two and no one stepped up after TRC put his hat in the ring. Why because no one is willing to subject themselves to the bully.

  4. You're talking about Tom Cramer (ignoramus) but he is not an ignoramus. He's a smart thug and bully. Check with some of the people who have volunteered on projects like that free heating fund. They'll tell you he's erratic and doesn't listen to other opinions. He is obviously cunning with the press and people who can help him, but Cramer also intimidates the people who get in his way to getting power for himself. I agree that he has paralyzed the good people of Sturbridge who want to step forward to turn things around for the town. Tom Cramer should give some of his ideas to people who can be trusted to run things right and fair. The fact that we're posting these messages anonymously is evidence of the climate Cramer has created in this town.

  5. It is amazing how this article has drawn all the feelings about one individual out into the light again. The fear he causes is not without justification. Being anonymous here is to be expected, and voting anonymously, as is our right, is even a better way to express ones self.

  6. The sad part is having to express ones self anonymously. We live in America and should feel free to speak our thoughts without fear and intimidation from a cyber bully. Thats real fair voting - scare away any potential candidates!

  7. Well — please spread the word about this situation and this man in particular! There's still time to thwart this grievous attack on civil discourse in Sturbridge. SAY NO TO TOM CREAMER and make your vote count even more before you cast it — BY SPREADING THE WORD!

    And BTW, dear Wally, why don't you run?

  8. Thank you for your support, but at this point, I feel I can do more to stimulate thought, and hopefully action. As I've said in the past, I'm a catalyst.

    Besides, the last thing the Town Hall needs is another Court Jester.

  9. You can spread the word all you want but who in their right mind would VOLUNTEER for the 3 years of harrassment by the bully? It not only affects that person, it affects the whole family. Continuted Abuse? No thanks!

  10. Please someone run for selectman before we are stuck with TRC and his sidekick Ehrhard. Creamer claims he is for the schools but he is silent when the school committee just passed a 0% increase in their budget and is eliminating staff and programs. He claims to want to invest in our children and schools but he is silent on the elimination of programs for next year. He also wants to completely redo the sewer service area a process that took years to complete and he wants to rehash it all over again! Including talking to Tighe and Bond again how much is that going to cost the tax payer? We need selectmen to run with out a personal agenda.

  11. You can always write in a candidate - how about bozo!

  12. I would like to see the Sturbridge Democratic Committee get involved in recruiting candidates to run for the BOS. This town is blessed with a large number of residents who are highly educated and highly qualified to serve on the BOS. If we can find wiling candidates to run they could be nominated at the Democratic caucus in March. We can't afford to add two more extremists to the BOS to join the two that were elected last election.


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