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 25, 2013

Happiness Is One Part Perception, And The Other Part Result

If folks aren't happy, then they need to make the changes that will bring the smile back to their faces.

Cripes, that is just how it works.  Happiness doesn't just fall on you hoping it will stick; you have to "earn it".

So, that being said, as with most issues in town that irk the bejeepers out of us, and make us less happy, less time is spent on analyzing, and trying to understand the issue at hand, than is spent on blaming  another for their choice of verbiage, manner actions, and outbursts in relation to those issues.

Hence, we become less happy.  I have one word of support:


The issue at hand is a report about the Fire Chief, and his department.  All the other actions that have been seen, and words that have been spoken by others in relation to the Chief, and the report are not to be ignored, but let's deal with one issue at a time.  Once we are on top of that issue,  and truly understand it, not solve it, we can move on to deal with the other ongoing issue in our town.

Now, let's assume that we understand the Fire Chief situation even though I read in the newspaper that no disciplinary action would be taken against the Chief, and later learned he was to be suspended, with pay, for three days.


Oh, maybe a suspension with pay is not a punishment.  Maybe its a sabbatical.

Ok, lets move on.  We have been dealing with what comes across as one persons attempt at installing  an autocracy here in Sturbridge for several years.  Worse yet, we've tolerated it, and only blustered our dissatisfaction about it.

I read the comments in the Telegram, and here on Thinking Out Loud, and sense that the level of happiness with this ruler is low.

Like, duh.

The behaviors are inappropriate, words are poorly chosen, and actions poor.  Sounds like a politician to me, but not a local one.  Local ones are less caustic for the simple we reason we shop with these folks in local stores, go to the same restaurants, sit beside each other at the cinema, maybe even go to the same church.  Our closeness leaves little room for escape, and most local politicians behaviors are often tweaked to the good side with this in mind.

The key word is "most".

There is a solution to this issue if enough people feel this way: Vote.

Vote for someone else.  Vote for a whole bunch of someone elses and pack that Board with people you feel will not only perform, but perform in a kinder, gentler, more humanistic way.  Then, maybe the happiness quotient will rise in town once more.

See, bitching, and moaning does not change what is.  Writing harsh comments on a blog will not do it, either.  The comments are only the symptom of what is going on.  What can fix things?

Action will.

So, here's the challenge,  find others that share the same opinion, hold a meeting in someones living room, find a candidate or two, and work up a plan to take back that long table on the second floor of the Town Hall, and find happiness again.

In the meantime, someone please tell me if the three day paid leave / sabbatical / suspension / long weekend thing was a disciplinary action or not.  Did I not read the paper correctly?  Was it not reported accurately?  Or, is this more of the same 'ol, same 'ol?

I'm a bit confused, and I'm not happy about that.


  1. When you are not allowed back at your work place and need an escort to retrieve your personal items and told not to enter the property or building you are not being punished you are done. The chief is all done in Sturbridge. The situation not handled well at all. Shame on Creamer.

  2. Shame of Lenny! Mr. Creamer was not collecting a paycheck to perform the duties of Sturbridge Fire Chief--Lenny was. All you "Lenny" supporters would be singing a different tune if someone was seriously injured or killed due to the state of that department and that liability went to the taxpayers. There is a plethora of evidence to show that these problems have existed for years (before Creamer lived here) and certain people looked the other way (Malloy and company).
    What infuriates me is that Lenny still gets to collect taxpayer money while he awaits the final (and long overdue) good-bye. People, stop trying to protect this guy. He made his bed...............

  3. Overboard SelectboardThursday, April 25, 2013

    Anonymous #2,
    We did get on just fine before Creamer lived here. There is more needless complexity, and more distrust in this town than ever, which is fueling very overblown, nasty, mean spirited, hateful stuff. Sad, and embarrassing, and, to many, frightening. Why do you suppose no one wants to run, or, worse yet, apply for any of the push-and-shove grilling committees or offices here?

  4. Mr. Creamer collects disability from the WFD. Perhaps he could volunteer his administrative expertise. I heard his CV at the BOS selectmen meeting. He is the most qualified Sturbridge resident and perhaps the entire US! His disability doesn't seem to be bothered by admin duties. It is a perfect fit for Sturbridge! He always wants to save taxpayer $ and he is being paid currently by a FD. I bet Sturbridge FD could be straightened out and on the right track very quickly. I am serious, this is not a shot at mr. Creamer. I think that is what the SFD needs!

  5. disability link:

  6. When Tom was on the Planning Board, there was nothing but disruptions and tensions, when Tom started attending Selectmen's meetings, there was nothing but disruptions and tensions, when Tom was elected to the BOS, he started out okay but I believe as Chair power went to his head and now he doesn't allow disruptions (seems he's done away with Ask the Selectmen) but there sure is tension. Unfortunately the only was to clear this Board now is either with a recall, which is most difficult, or wait for the next election. In the meantime, I don't believe that enough "heat" could be put upon Tom to change his attitude, when the "KING" has spoken we gentiles are to pay homage!!!!!

  7. When is the next election? 3 more years? We did it to ourselves.

  8. When Tom sets his sights on you he won't let go until your gone. This time he got help from Gimas and Rodeski. He has 2 followers to help him with his dirty work shame on all 3 of them. Watch out when they set their sights on you. They have no heart.

  9. Great job Lenny backers - 4 trucks broke down yesterday. 3 during the fires. Yup, the whole study was just a big phony....NOT. Lucky one of us didn't get killed last night. Too bad you clowns didn't care about us as much as you do our "chief" who mailed it in 15 years ago.

  10. The chief left and now things are falling apart? Fix 'em.

  11. Dear Anonymous,
    The chief left and now things are breaking down? Tell Tom Creamer, not us "clowns." Tom knows how to do everything everything, doesn't he?

  12. Hey Anonymous,
    Believe it or not, we "clowns" do care about our chief, and we care about you, too. Go figure!

  13. Did the Chief let some things slip, he admitted that he did.......I don't believe that anyone says the Chief is perfect, what most object to is the way in which everything was brought to light, a hatchet job.

  14. Take a step backSunday, April 28, 2013

    Som people don't see the forest for the trees. Senecal made this mess. It was allowed to continue while Charlie Blanchard, Arnie Wilson and Mary Blanchard were chairpeople. They're buddies of his. They knew things were real bad over there but ignored it. The truck that overheats does it all the time and Lenny kept saying don't worry about it. Ernie Horn listed most of the other stuff in his report and Lenny still didn't fix them. The brakes on the tanker were reported as dangerous. You can blame Tom Creamer all you want but this stuff would've kept going until someone died. The truth is ugly but now it's out there. Better that than someone dead.

  15. Timing is everything.Sunday, April 28, 2013

    I just read the article from the T&G about the fires and the trucks being downed. That is disturbing. We are fortunate that the outcome was not worse than it was but i do not know the severity of the fires that we had. Bad timing to have two fires back to back like that but we should never not be prepared for it. So is Chief Ford acting as the fire Chief right now or is Senecal out? There is no word of it on the towns website that i can find. I should not have to hunt for the news through google it should be up front and center on the towns website. Now i am watching Boston news trying to get our towns news.

    I don't understand how anyone can be upset that we had the study done by Chief Horn. I would like to see an apology during the next BOS meeting. Mary B, for her questioning of the study and Chief Horn. I think that with the recent events we can all agree that the study was overdue and needed, no matter who did the study.

  16. I don't agree with Mary Blanchard on much, but she does not owe anyone an apology in this situation.
    The only person who deserves and apology is the fire chief for the rotten treatment he was given.
    AND in reading the hate-filled statements, in the paper, and the blogs, those statements which are against which are against Lenny, it is obvious that there is someone out there with a vendetta.

  17. If the flaws of the fire department were not so blatant i would approve of an apology to Lenny. However, if you were to read the report i think an apology from Lenny to all the fire fighters and the resident of the town would be more in order.

    How is it obvious someone has a vendetta? If all the departments are up for a review by the GSSC i don't see this as a vendetta. I see it as people being held accountable in the town, something that as a taxpayer i demand.

  18. I read the report, more than once, watched and listened to Mr. Horn, Mr. Creamer, Mrs. Redeske, and Ms Gimas.

    I have lived here a long, long time, and know that we have always been protected by our fire department. Lenny, may have had several short-comings, but he didn't deserve the tactics used by the inquisition, and he didn't deserve the over blown, exaggerated, and outdated info provided by Mr. Horn. Mr. Horn refused to answer several questions, including how many department heads he spoke with, etc., etc. He said he didn't even keep records of the conversations.

    At the inquisition our fire chief was not allowed to have anyone sit with him, and no one was allowed to speak, except himself and the board of inquisitors. Any one who might dare to make a sound was warned not to even think about it and was threatened to be removed by the police presence in the room.

    Lenny, through the years has at many times fought fires, saving lives and property. Did anyone at the inquisition even acknowledge that fact? No.
    Have they lived in this town for as many years as Lenny has been a fireman? No. Did they say thank you, at least, for what he did in the past. No. Was this heartless and mean? YES.

    It's no secret that the powers that be want to change things around at the police/fire station and appear to be chomping at the bit to do so. The worker bees got their jobs done, and the chairman/king bee flatters them and rules his hive strictly. How sad.

  19. TimeToCanTheClanSunday, April 28, 2013

    Some people don't get it. Somebody could've died the other nite if it weren't for the other towns helping. 4 efffing trucks broke...2 couldn't pump water...Ya need water to put out fires. What don't you get? Sure Lenny's a nice guy but he ain't a good guy. Good guys don't let their people work in such dangerous conditions. The selectboard needs to fire his sorry butt now. It's time to can the good ole boy clan.

  20. "Happiness Is One Part Perception, And The Other Part Result"
    You got that right, Wally.
    A man showed up at the Selectmen's meeting last night and praised our firemen, and the chief for teaching them so well. This was in relation to the fire the above writer complained about. The gentleman said that he was amazed that the fire was contained to the one abandoned house, as it had been fully engulfed, in a woody area, with another house close by. He thanked them for saving many houses in that area.


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