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

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Message From A ZBA Candidate

Dear Fellow Sturbridge Resident,

First of all, I would like to thank all the voters who signed my papers to place my name on the ballot for the open three-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals. At the same time, I would like to thank the Democratic Party for endorsing my candidacy.

I have been a Sturbridge resident for 24 years and have had the privilege of serving on the Planning Board for 15 years. While on the Planning Board, I made every decision in what I felt was in the long-term best interest of the Town and its residents. At the time, Sturbridge enjoyed its largest employment and development growth in its history. It is a responsibility I took very seriously, both as a member and as Chairman for 5 years.

In the seven years I have been away from direct town service, I have been dismayed both by the emergence of special interests attempting to wrest control of the decision-making process and the lack of civility that has taken over the process.

Massachusetts General Law is very specific on the role of the Zoning Board as it decides Variances and Special Permits. The ZBA is a judicial board, not a forum to promote an agenda. Each application needs to be evaluated on the merits of the individual case and not on whether it is aligned with a special interest. If elected to the ZBA, I pledge to do what is in the best interest of the Town and all of its residents.

In addition to my serving on the Planning Board, I currently serve as an overseer to Old Sturbridge Village. I am married and our two sons attended public schools. One of them is presently a junior at Tantasqua, the other is a junior at Wesleyan University where he is a math major and plays on the basketball team. I have coached both basketball and baseball in Sturbridge and YMCA leagues. Prior to coming to Sturbridge, I served two years in the Peace Corps and graduated with honors from Bentley College as well as received a master’s degree in Engineering from UMass Amherst.

I am asking for your vote on Monday April 12th.

Kind Regards,

Thomas Creeden

Candidate for ZBA

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