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
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Finally, An Open Door Policy At The Town Hall
Sometimes people will act in order to turn down the volume, it's akin to swatting a pesky fly. The action is usually done by someone that has had it, and just wants to handle the issue since no one else seems to give two hoots, or know how to.
Well, it took awhile, but Selectman Tom Creamer finally got some answers, and a solution. Why was Tom successful, and others seemed to founder about? The answer is simple: he actually picked up the phone and called someone that had a clue.
No one else did. No one else had a clue as to how to fix the problem.
Tom didn't either, but he found someone that did.
This is a good thing. I have another other issue I'd like looked into, and I'll share it in my next post.
I know Tom will jump all over this next one, too.
From the Worcester Telegram:
Public access granted for Town Hall doors
by Craig S. Semon TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
STURBRIDGE — The Town Hall’s front doors, which haven’t been open to the public since the newly renovated building was opened for business in the fall, are now open to all.
The state’s Architectural Access Board voted Monday night in favor of granting Sturbridge’s request to allow the public to use the doors, despite their lack of access for people with disabilities.
Thomas P. Hopkins, executive director of the access board, said the request was granted on the condition that the town submit a formal variance request in June for Town Hall and the Center Office Building across the street.
On May 16, Mr. Hopkins came to speak to selectmen on his own initiative, he said, because he was concerned about the misinformation the town had been spreading about the state board’s requirements. He said no one from Sturbridge ever reached out to the board with inquiries or to seek guidance specific to a handicap-access variance request. Nevertheless, the town had kept the doors shut for months on the belief their being open would be in violation of state requirements for access.
Yesterday, Mr. Hopkins said if the matter had been brought to the access board at the time the project was proposed, it would have been resolved a long time ago.
“Historical buildings, as well as buildings that are undergoing this kind of significant renovations have applied for and received variance relief,” Mr. Hopkins said yesterday from his Boston office. “The board grants variances for essentially two reasons — technological infeasibility or the cost to comply is excessive without substantial benefits for persons with disabilities.”
On behalf of the selectmen, Thomas R. Creamer, the board’s chairman, yesterday thanked the access board and, in particular, Mr. Hopkins, for working to resolve the matter.
“The progress achieved over the last two weeks rests solely with the AAB and Mr. Hopkins, whose willingness to proactively initiate outreach to the town speaks to their professionalism and commitment to problem-solving,” Mr. Creamer said. “They accomplished more in two weeks than we have been able to as a community to accomplish in nearly three years.”