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 28, 2011

A Real Pane In the Glass

I am not sure which is worse, receiving fiery comments denying, or confirming  events written about here, or silence.

Just not sure.

With strong comments there is emotion attached, and a way of venting those emotions by typing fast and furiously on the keyboard.

It can be excellent therapy.  Believe me.

Then there are the postings that don't stimulate a lot of comments, and I would be expecting something.  Anything.  These behaviors can be telling.  The emotion attached with submitted comment is a given, but what about the silence?  Is it do to resignation that there is little one can say that hasn't already been said?  That although the post may be about a different event, or situation, it all goes back to the existing culture, and therefore little one can do about it?

Well, how about those that are involved in the actual event itself?  If it was a positive posting, then I can see those involved stepping back a bit.  No sense in commenting on their own good work, but what about behaviors questioned, or actions that need further explanation?  I would expect those folks leaving a comment occasionally, but they have walked down the "comment path" before and probably don't want to be subjected to online wrath.

I understand that.

So, what is the next step?  Well, I may have cracked open the lid of a particular hidden, or overlooked subject that needs to be addressed, and answers found, but this is not the venue to find those answers.  It is up to the residents that would like an explanation to address it in the most appropriate forum, and that is at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen, or the committee involved.

Believe me, no matter what is written here, folks are aware of it, and if it even slightly involves them, they are expecting your questions, and to give you some answers.  Sometimes they hope it doesn't come to that, but in order to maintain accountability for actions taken, we need to follow up, and question those involved.  If for nothing else, just to know.

The single pane windows at the Town Hall installed as a result of a multimillion dollar restoration of the building, and the Center School across the street is probably the worse decision I have heard being made around here in a long time.

Sturbridge a Green Community?  I think we need some answers, and a plan in place to correct the situation first.

It would be awfully embarrassing applying to the program and having to admit to installing new single pane windows in a the town hall for history's sake.

Green Communities Grant Program

Criterion #5: Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction; one way to meet these requirements is to adopt the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code.


  1. Where are the voices or postings of those who so loudly stated that we needed these things to be done, and to be done their way (hysterically correct)? We know they read this blog.
    It seems that they make themselves heard loud and clear, with what seems to be just enough bullying and intimidation, by putting down the opinions of others, only to complain that they themselves are the ones who are being put down and unappreciated as they go about getting their way.
    Are they still enjoying their $39 lunches and laughing at the people who say they can't afford higher taxes?
    How long does it take for people to realize that some of their "emperors" have no "clothes"? When will we learn to just say no?
    I'm afraid that the power of "no" will show up when money is needed to fix the mess. Pay to fix the "mistakes", pay to attempt to get variances where needed, pay for higher energy bills... PAY ATTENTION.

  2. Silence is deafening!!

  3. Somebody had to make the final decisions and sign off on those windows and doors...right? I mean, if our own people hadn't made those final decisions, we would be going after the people we contracted, wouldn't we? So how few people had the authority to refuse handicap access to the front doors because of "looks," and to go with single paned windows, also because of the "looks?"
    Questions have been asked. Some questions have been answered, and answers have fallen on deaf ears, as they did with Shultz who claimed to see and hear nothing.
    Yes, the silence is deafening!

  4. At the next Selectmans meeting, someone needs to mention the windows, and ask the following questions, " Has the state mandated that the front door not be used. If so when, and by who? Has the state stated that the building does not meet ADA requirements? In writing? Does every egress and exit, in every building have to be an ADA, or only the doors considered to be the main doors? Do not accept, "We'll get back to you". Then, ask about the windows, and what is going to be done. Finally, ask about being a Green Community, and just how this whole window thing has affected that goal. Answers would be good right about now.

  5. Selectmen: unless you have been served by the state with a document, or have been specifically told that the BUILDING does not meet the ADA Code prohibiting use of the front doors, then you are not in violation. The rear doors meet the reguirments needed. Save the residents the additional further costs, and open the doors. No disabled person is being hurt, in fact those with disabilities are in a much better place with the restored building than they ever were before the restoration.

  6. In advance of a more detailed public discussion that will be taking place on a number of issues related to the Town Hall/COB construction project, I can provide at least the following information.

    In reviewing the minutes for the Town Hall/COB Committee, which I requested via a Public Records request, it appears that the decision to "retain the existing windows" was made on October 16, 2008 and reaffirmed on February 18, 2009 by the building committee. I can find nothing to suggest that the Board of Selectmen were ever included in that decision-making process. The same holds true for the front door issue.

    I am still trying to determine where the breakdown in communication manifested, but I certainly share a sense of regret in that I never thought to ask about the front doors being usable or accessible. Sadly, it is a question I never thought to ask, presuming that an approximate $5 million dollar renovation project would never overlook something as basic as use of the front doors. That subconscious presumption appears now to have been quite erroneous.

    There will be more information provided once I have had the opportunity to research and review more historical information specific to this project. Speaking solely as an individual member of the Board, I do respectfully request your patience.


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