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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Stars Must Have Been In Alignment, Too

When the majority of residents favor an action, and it goes along with the way the Board of Selectman are leaning, then it is a rare, and very good thing.  Walker Road residents know how they want their country lane to stay: just as it has been for decades.  Yes, better drainage, pavement, and widening of the road would modernize it, and make it easier to maintain, plow, and navigate, but it would change everything.  It would take a place that is, and turn it into a place that isn't yet.  Folks on Walker Road bought their homes on that road partly because of the road itself.  I was glad to read that both parties were in alignment.

The decision to spend the funds on replacing the old bridge on Champeaux Road is a good one.  I hope the new bridge is high enough to canoe under without lying down.

Residents in agreement with the BOS, and wise spending seem a bit out of character for our town, but it may be the start of a new era.  Let's hope.

The fire chiefs request for renumbering the homes on the street, since they run opposite of  the way the rest of the town is numbered, is a valid request.  I can understand residents becoming attached to their numbers, but for safety sake they should follow the rest of the town, and if not, then large, well lit numbers should be posted on the exterior of the homes.

Alignment, and wisdom prevailed this week here in Sturbridge.  Let's see what next week brings.

Article published Aug 7, 2012

Sturbridge board kills plan to upgrade Walker Road

STURBRIDGE —  In a 5-0 vote, selectmen last night nixed a proposed $600,000 improvement plan on Walker Road, with the blessing of many of its residents.

In addition to removing 78 trees, the proposed plan would have transformed the existing gravel road to a paved roadway. The selectmen, as well as a majority of Walker Road residents in attendance, favored spending the Chapter 90 money on a more worthwhile project, such as replacing the 80-year-old Champeaux Road Bridge.

Walker Road residents also were against the fire chief’s request for renumbering the 10 homes on Walker Road so the pattern is consistent with that of the majority of the town’s roadways. Currently, the address numbers run backward.

Selectmen sided with the residents, although no formal vote was taken on the matter.

— Craig S. Semon


  1. This is a change of attitude for Creamer. Not too long ago he was all about "safety" on McGilpin and tree 25. He didn't care how the residents felt he wanted the tree gone and the road paved.
    He also needs to keep his temper in check I was shocked at his behavior at last nights meeting.

  2. Anonymous is a hater and wrongWednesday, August 08, 2012

    Really anonymous. I remember the McGilpin tree thing and the issue was 3 residents out of the entire road wanted to save a dying tree. They wanted to force the rest of the residents to live with it. The residents wanted it gone - except 3 families. The Planning Board wanted it gone. The tree warden cop wanted it gone. The DPW wanted it gone. The safety issue was that the tree was a hazard and would cause a change in the road plan that had been already approved by the majority of residents for years. I watched Monday and 2 do-nothing selectpersons cried foul because Creamer and Gimas were trying to help people who live in the trailer park. The do-nothing selectpeople didn't like it. Creamer stood his ground. I applaud him. You're a hater and probably a "good old boy" member. You hate that Creamer and Gimas don't play the good old boy game. Gimas was right when she said that Dowling and Blanchard were just plain old politics as usual.

  3. That was the most exciting BOS meeting that i can remember. It was good having more participation by a couple of the members.

  4. Trying to help the folks in the trailer park was not the issue attempting to have a secret meting was.

  5. Secret meeting? How was it secret when Creamer raised the issue of appointing people to a group? He even made the motion to appoint them. Wow, Big SECRET for everyone to be in on. Get real anonymous, you're living in Blanchard KOOLAID land. The only time Blanchard and Dowling get involved is to prevent progress. Like Gimas said - it's politics as usual in Sturbridge for the good old boys. Thank God Creamer, Gimas & Redetske don't play that game.

  6. Why was that item on the agenda? It was about concerns from residents. Why were those concerns not talked about? They were derailed and so Tom was left with having to tell everyone that he tried to set up a meeting to discuss something no one else on the Board of Selectmen knew about.

  7. Ignorance really is blissThursday, August 09, 2012

    Does anyone here pay attention or is just that NO COMMON SENSE IS SPOKEN HERE. Everyone on the Board knew about the meeting and why Blanchard raised it. She's just upset that her ego was bruised because she wasn't invited. She's done nothing for 4 years, won't do anything for the next 2 either except rat out businesses for their signs or landscaping. Yup, the great pro-business selectperson is the one behind all the sign nonsense. She just does it anonymously without the Board knowing. Did you people hear what Creamer said? He put it on the agenda because residents were calling him for help so he decided to try and form a working team. The meeting was so the residents concerns that have not been addressed in years could get addressed. No selectperson is required to get permission of peers to meet with residents. Creamer and Gimas were trying to help. But I guess the network in town would rather just keep everything like it is. Old and stale.

  8. No Selectman has anymore power than the other, the only time they have power is when they meet as a Board. Tom has been known to go around making promises that this or that will be done when he has no right to do so. As Chair he sets the agenda for meetings and keeps the meeting orderly, approval is needed by the whole Board to set up a committee. Has he the right to go and talk to whomever, of course he does, but can't make promises that something will be done. Has any noticed when things aren't going his way he'll talk over the other Selectmen and then states something like "we've spent enough time on this". From my point of view, he's trying to bully two females that are strong and won't be bullied. Keep up the good work Mary Blanchard and Mary Dowling.

  9. The secret meeting was never held but it was scheduled to be held prior to Aug. 6th. No selectman is required to get permission to meet with town folk but when you include another selectman, the Town Administrator and the DPW director in the meeting that is a problem.
    Creamer also did not want his group to be subject to the open meeting laws another problem.

  10. Actually speaking, the OML only applies to a majority of committee members. A minority of any committee can meet with anybody they wish.

    As for shortening things, how many times can you listen to Selectperson Dowling say the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

  11. TC's brought more transparency than ever before. More information about everything, more public hearings, more access by everyone.

    Everybody and anybody gets to go before the BoS now. That's never happened before.

    Look how hard he pushed to get the minutes caught up? The two Marys on the end were more concerned about making sure the secretary wasn't overworked than following the law.

  12. am very happy with the way the BOS has been operating of late. There is transparency and more dialogue with the public than in the past. I appreciate the accountability that the board is holding people too. As for the two Marys on the end... One of them barely speaks at all, the other talks to much a lot of the time about nothing. Unless it has something to do with recreation.

  13. Creamer needs to get a handle on his temper.

  14. Does anybody remember who the clown was that made the "we all want a blond haired, blue-eyed woman" from the search committee?

  15. In reading some of these comments, it is clear that some people missed some very important statements made at the BoS meeting. For example, Mary Berry stated she had sent an e-mail dated August 1(I believe it was sent to Mr. Suhoski) that asked for a meeting with town officials; and then she said she's the one who postponed it. As Mr. Creamer stated, he put this issue on the agenda when he was contacted by 11 residents from the park. There was no "secret" meeting, nor was there the intention of a secret meeting. I'm at a loss to understand where these accusations come from, especially since there's nothing to support such an accusation?

    People need to realize that the SRCC is a private organization. They are not subject to Open Meeting Law. They are asking for some kind of assistance from the town because the CDBG grant request, which the town assisted with, was declined. They are under DEP orders to upgrade their sewerage - there are deadlines involved.

    In my opinion, assembling an informal work group to discuss options with this private organization is a good idea; then those ideas can be brought to the entire board for discussion and vote.

    When I vote for elected officials, I vote for those that I hope will actually "work" - not just sit there and be a lump on a log and accomplish nothing. Look at the records of accomplishments of our current BoS: who has actually made campaign promises, set goals, and accomplished them?

    Some of our elected officials need to get off their butts and WORK, or get off the board. You know who you are.

  16. Wally what's not like the rest of the town. Their situation is the same as Library Ln, Paradise Ln, Leadmine Rd, New Boston Rd and its extension. Walker Rd is the extension of Walker Pond Rd. Just like Rt 131 and Rt 20 are the extensions in either direction of Main St. Really isn't all that complicated. We can put a ship on Mars but we need to have people change their numbers, their license, their registration, their checking accounts, then every policy they have and then have the Town change all of its information just to find a house. Come on Wally are you kidding? Talk about not knowing your own community. You right a lot of nonsense that makes no sense.

  17. Peter, I don't think Wally took a firm position on house numbers. He said it would be good to do what the rest of the town does, but if not the large well lit numbers would be good. People changing licenses, and other things is not that hard. It's no more difficult than a name change or a new address hen moving. People are just sentimental for their numbers.

  18. Really anonymous or is that Wally answering as anonymous. You said "I can understand residents becoming attached to their numbers, but for safety sake they should follow the rest of the town". I gave an example that shows that in other areas the town is numbered just like Walker Rd. The difference with a name change or moving is that's a choice. Having the town force it on you is not. By the way, I'm curious why you allow the Celuzza's to make anonymous derogatory comments about selectmen but you wouldn't post my friend's answer about Tony making the blond haired blue eyed comment. Guess you're really a phony after all. That's why I get the facts from the Tea Party blog and Sturbridge Political Watch blog. The stuff here is hardly ever accurate and never has any common sense.

  19. Dear Peter: I really don't know why I am taking the time to answer your comment, but I am in the mood.

    When a comment is submitted as being from an anonymous person I have no idea who the person is that submits the comment. That's why it is anonymous.

    I allow most comments, and only reject a very few for being rude, inappropriate, profane, purposefully hurtful, or hearsay and rumor designed to hurt others. I can do that, it's my blog. If folks want that they can read the comments in the Gazette.

    Now, think about what you wrote. Why would an anonymous comment have a name associated with it? As I said, anonymous comments are just that. I have no idea who they are from. If I did, I would know who you really are, Peter, and I haven't a clue.

    Peter, this blog is not a political blog, and you should get your political facts only from a political source, not a rambling thought process such as mine. The Tea Party Blog is an excellent place to get the information you seek.

    One more thing, I don't answer comments in my blog unless I sign my name as I have here. No reason to.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Peter.

  20. The Sturbridge Political Watch is not a place to get accurate info. It is usually slanted to a certain selectman's believes and he thinks he is always correct. When you differ from his opinion he does not debate he gets angry.

  21. what the heck does a blonde have to do with walker road or house numbers? I must've missed something. did I?

  22. I thought and rethought the value to answering "Peter’s" blog, but some accusations cannot be ignored or there is a certain segment of the population that will believe them. Anyone who knows me knows that I have led an exemplary life in this town, volunteering for a plethora of causes, running for and serving on numerous Committees (chairman of many), and working for the Board of Health for 27 years. You will not find any scandals (not even a parking ticket) in all those years.
    Now I am being accused of making “anonymous derogatory comments about selectmen”, a charge of which I am innocent. If I did have something to say, I would proudly sign my name and not hide like a coward behind “anonymous” or “Peter”.
    The quote about the blonde does not even deserve defending since it was taken totally out of context.
    And, by the way, ‘Celuzza’s” should not have an apostrophe; it is not a possessive noun.
    Janet Celuzza

  23. At last nights Creamer did a better job of keeping his anger in check but he did get angry and admitted to his anger at the meeting but still refuses to see another opinion as valid.


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