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

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Master Plan

A little over a year ago I wrote about the Master Plan of 1988. The gist of the article was that it was then 2008, and twenty years post plan, there was little to show for the investment made in that 1988 plan.

At the recent Special Town Meeting $75,000.00 was voted in for a new Master Plan. Every town must have a Master Plan; they don't have to do diddly with it, but they have to have one. There will be hired consultants, numerous meetings, and eventually, after an eternity, a new plan will emerge.

And, then, that's it. Done. Complete. Nothing more to do, just wait another 20 years to appropriate more money, and do it all over again.

I have an idea. Now, this may be a bit "out of the box", but what if after the plan is completed, we actually read it, and then act on the plan. That's what a plan is, a recipe for action. The way it is now, it merely an essay.

The enacting of the contents of the Master Plan will be directed by the Selectmen, and the Town Administrator. They will decide which items to to proceed with, and in what order. Keep this in mind come election day.

Another thing to keep in mind is will a plan be taken seriously by someone that desires to be elsewhere, and not here in town? This is important. If a leader continues to search for greener pastures, is their heart still in the job here at home?

This could be the deciding factor in determining if the NEW Master Plan is ever even read, never mind acted upon.

Things should be done in order. First determine if there is leadership available, and willing to take the town forward, then once that is determined, write a plan to get us there, and enable those folks to act on the plan. If one thing is out of synch, it ain't going to work well.

People can become comfortable in a position, like a fat man stuck in a Barcalounger with the remote, a bag of Cheese Doodles and a rack of Bud Lights on his lap. Only reason to move is to use the bathroom occasionally. The car won't get washed, the cellar won't get cleaned out, the lawn won't be mowed, the kids won't get to soccer practice, the wife won't be happy, and nothing in the Family Master Plan will be accomplished. No sense in giving the big guy with the orange cheese powder all over his face a new set of instructions at this point.

Time to change the guy, or tell the guy to change. Remember, things need to be addressed in order.

But wait, we need a plan to accomplish that, and we know how well those work.

On second thought, never mind.


  1. "there was little to show for the investment made in that 1988 plan."

    You might find there was quite a bit accomplished that met with the 1988 Master Plan goals. Depends on what committee had what goal, and if they paid attention to the plan, or ignored it.

  2. List the accomplishments as recommended by that plan. Then list the plan items not accomplished.
    Which list is bigger? We need to stay on top of the town hall this time around.


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