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
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Livin' On the Edge
Obviously, the upcoming elections will bring change to our town, but now, with the Town Administrator leaving for a new position, we are in a place we haven't been in many years.
This could be a very good thing, or it could go terribly awry.
Jim Malloy said in a recent newspaper story that he cannot advance in his field without packing it in and moving on. Just one of those things. If you want to grow, you sometimes need to make big decisions and leap out of your comfort zone. He is, and I wish him the very best of luck in his new position.
In the meantime, the devil you know is often better than the devil you don't know. The search committee, when formed, will have an arduous job ahead of themselves. First, they need to formulate a "wish list" of a candidates qualifications, and then develop another one as to the candidates attitude, the ability to see things as they do, and also be able to offer something they can't, or are just unable to.
Call it a "Candidates Soup". All sorts of "wishes" will be thrown into the mix, stirred with interviews, simmered with second and third interviews, and in the end, hopefully, the "soup" will be palatable to not only those on the committee, but for the rest of us here in town.
It is job that will require a great deal of time and energy, loss of sleep, headaches, and heartburn. Just comes with the territory, and that's just the job of searching for a replacement for the Town Administrator, the actual job itself is more of the same.
But, there are those out there that live for this, and are quite good at what they do. Some may apply, others won't. There will be great applicants, and of course, there will be the not so great. Sorting through them will take many months. Meanwhile, we will have a substitute, and like when we had a substitute teacher in school, it may be a time when all hell will break loose.
I hope not. I hope everyone behaves, but that is wishful thinking.
Where Sturbridge is in the very near future, and for a long time to come, will be decided on this year. We can choose to be where we want to be, or find ourselves in place far distant from where we aimed. It would be so much easier if the candidates came with a a built in GPS. Just set your destination, and let them go for it.
Unfortunately, they will come with only themselves, and if we like them, and trust in them to take us to our future it will be a good thing. Occasionally, they will need a slap upside the head to stay on track, but if we pay attention to them, that won't happen as often as one thinks.
I am hoping for the very best for Sturbridge, but I am going to keep my hands out of my pockets for awhile just in case someone needs a slap to stay on track. And, having been the recipient of many a whack upside my head, I know just how effective they can be. Can't remember my name most of the time because of them, but I am a better person for the same reason.