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, January 28, 2011

I Noticed

Today I wrote a post entitled, "Maybe It's Me".  The post was about the new bylaw requiring residents, and business owners to clear the sidewalks in front of their homes, and shops of snow.  The original reason for the bylaw was it would be a cost savings for the town.

I wrote last year that the savings would be small when compared to the big picture, and that there were a "bigger" reasons for the bylaw.  I still have only suspicions of just what those reasons are, and I amuse myself thinking about all the different ones there could be.  One reason I have not quite ruled out is that the Town thinks we are idiots.

Idiots? Yep.  They town stated that money would be saved if residents and business owners cleared their sidewalks, and that would enable the towns DPW to move on to other storm, and DPW related chores.  Time is money. Time gained is money saved.

Then I watched the towns sidewalk tractor clear the sidewalks along Route 131 southbound from in front of the Hampton Inn towards the Common.  The tractor dutifully cleared the snow from the new sidewalk really well, and just as it approached the property line of a private residence, it popped off the sidewalk and onto the street.  It then drove about 100 yards to the just in Front of the Center School, and hopped back onto the sidewalk, and began clearing again until it came to the property line of another private property.

On and off the sidewalk all over town.  Well cleared sidewalks stopping dead mid sidewalk, and others on a road to nowhere, and just being cleared from property line to property line with nothing cleared beyond, or before.

Tell me, how does one save money by taking the snow blowing tractor off of the sidewalk,  and onto the road, drive parallel to the snow covered sidewalk, and then hop back onto the sidewalk when it is the "towns" property to continue removing snow?

Really.  Please, tell me how.

Do you really think the residents of Sturbridge are stupid, or is it the Town that is stupid by making a lot of little roads to no where all over town in order to save money and hoping we won't notice?

Well, I've noticed.


  1. I think that some of these rules and regulations are more "power trips," than cost solving measures. They get a little confused with the "my way, or the highway" stuff, and as you noticed, sometimes it's the Town that finds itself stepping onto the highway. 'Common sense? Ummm...nope.

  2. I was driving to Shaws and saw the sidewalks. I am truly embarrassed. The town administrator and the board of selectman should be embarrassed, too.

  3. If this rural town is so determined to act like a city, shouldn't they haul away the huge mounds of snow?

  4. I truly believe that this Board of Selectmen are on a power trip! In the past the Town Administrator named the people to be appointed to the Charter Review Committee; in the past it was up to the Town Administrator to decide which Departmet Head was to get their bonsus, now all of a sudden the Selectmen want in on it. I always thought it was the Selectmen who made policy and it was up to the Town Administrator to carry it out. Not with this Board, they want their fingers in every pie, and the Chair is the worst of all, he seems to be the one who gets the pot boiling, he did it as a Planning Board member, he did it as a private citizen to the former Selectmen and he's doing it more and more as Chair of this current Board. I think its time for him to put his ego aside and do the people's business without trying to belittle and best other people, stop trying to get his name in the headlines!

  5. I am not surprised with how this looks, but I agree, it is embarrassing. Good job selectmen, and administrator. Another home run.

  6. Who is responsible to clear the mound of snow in front of crosswalks? If you notice some crosswalks on rte. 20 are not accessible who is responsible to clear that access? Who clears the sidewalk on State owned land?

  7. The town is responsible for clearing crosswalks. It depends on what state land you are referring to, and whether there is an agreement between the town and the state regarding clearing of snow. If a state road was originally plowed, and its sidewalks cleared by the state, and the town took over the duties through a mutual agreement, it would be interesting to see if the original agreement called for the town to continue to clear the sidewalks along side the state owned road.

  8. Nay, nay Anon 4, nay, nay. The Charter says the selectmen appoint the Charter Committee. But heck, why let the facts ruin a slanted story. I saw the meeting when Blanch and Teddy said they always saw the evals before. They must be fibbing - right? NOT. Sounds like the prob here is you playing fast and lose with da facts.

  9. Blame this all on Garieri. He whined and complained for months about having the businesses shovel themselves. Dollars to donuts him or one of his buddies is making some money on this deal. The other selectpeople never should have agreed to this. Guess they got sick of listening to him cry over and over like he does when he doesn't get his way. He's got to go.


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