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, December 31, 2009
One temporary, for one day, the other permanent, and forever. In these tough economic times an act like this speaks of one thing: selfishness.
I know that times are tough. We feel it. Everyone is feeling it, but when we turn on our survival mode, and aim it only on ourselves there is something wrong.
The furlough would mean everyone going ONE day without pay. One day. The teachers union voted no, and showed how insular they are as a whole. "It's all about me." should be printed on t-shirts and worn by the teachers that voted to insure that their coworkers will loose their jobs instead of everyone loosing one days pay.
We recently had sixteen layoffs at the hospital I work at in Boston. We had a similar number last year at this time. This year is different, though, all of us that survived have been assigned THREE furlough days to take in the upcoming year.
And, the amazing thing about it it was there has been a minimal amount of negative talk about the furloughs. You see, it is pretty obvious to us, if it were not for the furloughs the layoffs would have been far greater.
Maybe it's a different mindset, but what ever it is it is still a fairly simple thing, no work for a day, or no work for a lot longer. Doesn't take a a genius to figure out what is better.
The situation I am experiencing in Boston is not only a result of the economic downturn, but other factors as well. Doesn't really matter, though. It is all the same in the end.
The Superintendent Daniel Durgin said he was disappointed in teachers vote. I'd say that was quite the understatement. I am disappointed as well, but more shocked. The "It's all about me" culture is often associated with teachers groups, and this only confirms it. Individually, it may be different, but as a group, it 's not.
The teachers will work without interruption this year. Next year may be different.
In the meantime, my heart goes out to those being laid off, their New Year is not starting off too brightly.
We can thank the teachers union for that. They are only doing their job, I guess, and have taught us all a little life lesson in charity.
You can be sure this is one lesson I will forget.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Article published Dec 22, 2009
Board says no to three finalists
Administrator search goes on
By Craig S. Semon TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
STURBRIDGE — Three of the five selectmen took turns last night saying they were not willing to support any of the three finalists for the town administrator position. So now, it’s up to the current search committee to come up with three more finalists.
Donald D. Crawford, former city manager of Hamtramck, Mich.; Pamela T. Nolan, Truro town administrator for five years, and John O. D’Agostino, who was Mansfield town manager for 12 years, were all shot down by Selectman Mary Blanchard, board chairman, and Selectmen Edward P. Goodwin and Harold J. White.
This means that Mrs. Blanchard’s husband, Paxton Town Administrator Charles T. Blanchard, is technically still in the running for the top municipal spot. Mr. Blanchard was one of the three finalists in the original town administrator search this past summer, although the names of the finalists were never officially announced, and a candidate in the just-concluded second search who didn’t make it into the list of 10 semifinalists.
Mr. Goodwin said the search committee brought forth three “good candidates” but his concerns were for the town.
“While I didn’t find anything that made me think that these aren’t talented people, I do have a concern for Sturbridge with the candidates,” Mr. Goodwin said. “So tonight, I wouldn’t be willing to support any of the candidates.”
Mr. White said that while he recognizes the positive attributes of each finalist, he had enough concerns with each one that he would not be willing to support any of them. And Mrs. Blanchard agreed.
“I, like Hal and Ted, I am not comfortable enough with these three candidates to vote for them,” Mrs. Blanchard said. “I would be more comfortable if the search committee brought forward other candidates.”
While all three finalists were nixed, Mr. D’Agostino, however, received backing from Selectmen Thomas R. Creamer and Scott A. Garieri, who is on the search committee. But their support would not be enough to make him the new town administrator if a formal vote were cast.
“For me, personally, I definitely could support Mr. D’Agostino,” Mr. Creamer said.
“John D’Agostino brought a high level of competency and I think he fit the town well with his experience, especially with what the town has going forward,” Mr. Garieri said. “I, too, would be comfortable and looking forward to having John D’Agostino as a town administrator.”
Although he wasn’t in favor of it, Mr. Creamer said if the board is not comfortable with the any of three finalists who were brought forward, then perhaps the board should entertain writing a job description and “wish-list” of what the board wants so the search committee can narrow its search. Instead, the selectmen directed the search committee to produce three finalists, making sure not to say new or additional, so Mr. Crawford, Ms. Nolan and Mr. D’Agostino could all or individually be brought forward again to the board.
“I think we’re all up here to do the best for the town,” Mrs. Blanchard said. “Three of us apparently came to one conclusion and two people came to another conclusion.”
Copyright 2009 Worcester Telegram & Gazette Corp.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I like to be comfortable. Heat in the fall and winter is not only important for our comfort, but our survival. There is a a hitch, however, it can be expensive, unless you use your head.
- Assess your insulation.
- Caulk air leaks.
- Assess your windows.
- Install a setback thermostat.
- Set the temperatures on the thermostat to go way back at night, go up in the morning upon awakening, and way down when the house is empty during the day.
- If it gets a bit chilly when folks are home, turn up the thermostat 3 to 4 degrees, and that's it. No more. The heat will come on, and it will be very effective at removing the chill. When the temperature comes up, and everyone is comfortable, don't forget to turn down the thermostat again.