- When a plan is made to purchase a tract of land, or preserve a bit of history, the entire plan is to be laid out. All of it. Every iota of the plan, and every bit of the arguments, explanations, and reasons for every part of the plan. The plan should always include comparisons with other methods in order for the voter to make an informed decision. Single pane vs. multi pane windows, passive vs. active recreation. You know the drill. Surprises should never be the epilogue to the best intentioned plans.
- The plan, and cost, for maintaining the land, or building preservation should always be spelled out with the original plan. Will volunteers always be responsible for maintaining the land, or will the town actually form a paid Parks Department, and proper explanations for both. Again, there should be no surprises later on.
- And, finally, how is the project being paid for? Town funds with 75-100% matching state funds? That's easy. Go for it. Town funds with only 30% matching state funds, and paying for the project with a surcharge on property values over many, many years? One needs to think twice about these choices.
- If the project is worthy, and the money, or method of payment is not there, or feasible, then move on. You may want an indoor swimming pool at your home, or drive a $100,000 car, but unless you have the money in savings, a rich uncle, or a way to raise the cash without costing you a lot more over time, then rein it in, and change your plans.
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