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, May 14, 2010


Maybe you remember a month ago there was a whole lot of hullabaloo in the local papers about some off color, verbal interactions at a Town Administrator Search Committee meeting.

There were cries of "Off with his head!!". As you can imagine, people were very upset. I mean, everyone, all over town was upset, or so it seemed. In fact, one resident started a recall petition to remove the blue mouthed selectman from office.

I said it then, we elected him. Most of us knew what we were electing, and we shouldn't be surprised by the behavior. We just didn't think that it would come out in the way it did, or at the place it did.

In order to go forward with the recall it was necessary to obtain signatures of 20% of the towns registered voters on the petition.

They got six.

Six signatures.

Of course, there is a lesson in here somewhere, but for the life of me, I haven't the foggiest idea as to what it is. Maybe it has something to do with those with the pitchforks and torches marching on the castle door should have an attention span a bit longer than that of a gnats.

If you are going to be outraged about something, then do something about it. Don't leave it if something else attracts your attention. Stick with the issue. If you can't follow through, don't make it an issue.

Six signatures. Either someone didn't try very hard, or all those outraged folks from last month got over their outrage pretty damn quick.

I think it's the attention span thing.


  1. how do you know they only got 6 ?

  2. I believe you're quoting a misprint from the SEN; I signed the recall petition on the day of the election and there were probably around 100 signatures on it at that time, with a few weeks still to go before the 30-day deadline.

    Last I heard, it was about 120 signatures short of the necessary 1,293.

    You may want to check your facts because SEN seems to be misquoting (and mispelling) a lot these days.

  3. I do not pretend to know the facts, but I took the report on "six signatures" as a typical newspaper mistake. Living in town and hearing the scuttle butt, I thought sure the petitioner must have come close because so many people are repulsed by the man they elected. I was surprised to read this post, because you are usually more intuitive.

  4. An article in the Sturbridge Villager was where the information for the number of signatures was obtained.

  5. Sturbridge Villager and SEN are both produced by Stonebridge Press and the article was in both papers; both are wrong. Journalists are supposed to verify information with two sources; shame on that editor for letting articles go to print with inaccuracies and typos all over the place.

  6. i doubt the six signatures was a mistake.

  7. until there is a retraction, or the town issues a true accounting of the actual number obtained, the number remains six. makes little difference. the outrage was not as quite as outrageous as was originally reported since the town chose to leave the person in office. it's behavioral, not criminal. we have to learn to live with it. 6 or 120 it didn't happen.

  8. No, the number is not six just because the newspaper says so. I signed the petition weeks ago and saw at least 100 signatures with my own eyes. Sounds like, for whatever reason, the recallers didn't turn in all the signature pages, which is their prerogative.

  9. babcock got just under a thousand. didn't turn any of his in since he didn't have enough. this leaves it open for another recall. it also protects the signers since there was talk of retaliation. someone turned in a sheet they were using for signatures. anonymous says we have to live with. would that be the case if his/her daughter was called a whore or told to shut the blankety blank up by a public official?

  10. here is what happened: they collected some signatures and didn't turn them all in. what got turned in was what was counted,and that was 6.

  11. So SEN and Sturbridge Villager didn't report accurate surprise there.

    But like other folks, my guts told me '6' wasn't right. The statement is plain ridiculous and it's a cheap kick in the pants to residents who tried to do the right thing. Minimizing the effort is disrespectful of the process but then, isn't that what Garieri and his supporters are all about?

    Kudos to Babcock and others who spent time collecting sigs and kudos to those who signed, too.

  12. give me a breakSaturday, May 15, 2010

    Babcock didn't turn in a thousand signatures? we have a saying at work, if it isn't documented, it didn't get done. You can say all you want you did it, but if it isn't written down that this is what you did you are out of luck. I wonder how those 1000 signers feel about not having the action they signed for carried forward. How is it he can say that he doesn't want to turn in the signatures? whether he made the percentage or not, they had to be turned in. It was not only a call for a recount, but a statement as well. Now the town only knows there were six signers. Since the deadline is over, the "1000" will never count. way to go babcock.

  13. I know for a fact that hundreds of signatures were obtained on the recall. Not turning them in keeps those who did sign out of the public eye. Yes, If only 6were turned in to the town clerk, then that is the 'official' record, but we all know that "official" often comes no where close to "actual" in a lot of cases!
    As for the "lesson" that you can't figure out in this whole situation, let me spell it out for you: the lesson is that this kind of behavior by town officials will NOT be tolerated! The other part of the lesson is that the recall is part of the guaranteed democratic rights we have as US citizens, without fear of recourse!

  14. If 6 were turned in then 6 were official. The other hundreds are merely rumour, unfortunately. Documentation is reguired to make something happen. those that decided to not turn in the signatures even if they did not meet the jnumber needed did a diservice to all of us. Now and forever it is documented that only 6 peiople cared enough to ask for a recall, not the "hundreds".

    It is obvious that this inappropriate behavior is tolerated here in town, otherwise there would be a recall.

    We didn't want it bad enough.


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