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

Friday, April 3, 2009

Teach Me

One thing I have aways been able to do is to admit when I know diddly about a subject. Sometimes I just admit it to myself, but most often I do admit it to others. All part of the continuous self improvement trip I've been on for some time.

The latest issue I know little about is this thing with The Sturbridge Area Tourist Association and the revenue they collect to benefit ten area towns. Seems that only Sturbridge contributes to the fund with tax revenue from Sturbridge hotels and motels.

Why only us? I am sure 23 years ago, when this was first established, there was a specific reason. Maybe it was because Sturbridge has more hotel rooms than Worcester, is a tourist destination, and they could obtain more revenue than the other towns. Eventually, the other area towns would share in the tourist growth by using the funds to market the area, and then they could begin to contribute.

Just a theory.

Anyway, after 23 years, the Town of Sturbridge Finance Committee wants to establish a local board to oversee the funds.

Why exactly?

After 23 years have the funds not been used effectively? Could they be used better? Is oversight something that is needed due to funds being used inappropriately? And, why now? Of all the times in the past 23 years, why now, at America's worst financial times since the Great Depression?

These are serious questions. I really do not know, but would very much like to learn more. In order for me to make a good decision at Town Meeting, it would be best to know the reasons behind the push for this local board of overseers.

So, I am asking those on both sides of the issue to share their pro's and con's about this upcoming article on the Town Warrant. Not only to educate me, but to educate others in town as well.

I really like to know about a subject before I offer an opinion, or judgment.

Feel free to email me at and I will post your information in a separate posting.

Until then, I'll work on making up my uneducated answers in case I don't get a response.

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