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, May 14, 2013


I believe I have "fixed" the issue with some folks not being able to read some text on this blog because of the background.  I changed the color of the text, and I changed the background image.

The background image is not one of my own, although it well could be.  I chose it not only for what it offered graphically, but what it offered symbolically.  Sunrises can mean so many different things to people, but most often it represents renewal.

It can also symbolize a new begining.  Renewal is beginging the same thing again.  A rising sun renews itself each day, but it is only by choosing what we do with that new day can there be a new beginning.

A new start.  Brand new. Never done before.  No "re" anything.


Time for a New Beginning.  Time to turn out those that have the "it's all about me" attitude, instead of the it's all about them commitment.

It's time to begin to work on the process of removing those that do not perform the way we want them do.  They garnered our votes, and their performance, attitude, and behavior has shown our votes were ill spent.

Those sitting behind the tables at the Town Hall do not rule us, they represent us.  We put them there to do just that, and when their behavior is such that it makes us uncomfortable, when their performance is making us poorer, and when their attitude is hurtful to others that have given so much to all of us, then no more renewals; we need to start over.

I am merely a catalyst, and my words in this post today will spawn more words in the comment section, but unless each comment offered is also accompanied by a suggestion for change, for this post, I will not post it.  Unless, your comment can offer something substantial in the way of fixing the problems we have seen, and read about here in Sturbridge, I will not bother to post it.  It would only be more of the same.  Nothing new, and you will have become part of the problem.

So, before you offer yours words of support, or non-support, think, and include what you believe can help us all.
One more thing; include your full name.  This is so important, and the time is so critical, that we do not want to play games with nicknames, and anonymous postings.  If you have a well thought out plan, or suggestion, or want to take an action to make this town better such as offering up your living room for a meeting with like minded folks, then own your words.  Own your actions.

Discontent is obvious, dissatisfaction, as well, but no more whining.  Keep in mind, there are those that know you will only keep belly aching, and accepting your fate.  Prove them wrong.

The sun is going to rise again, what are you going to do with it?


  1. Let's start here. Educate ourselves on what is going on. There is, in fact, so much going on, so many boards, and committees, etc. that there is no way that anyone can attend anything but a small portion of those meetings. Some are televised on channel 11, and that helps. However, when someone calls our attention to an issue, as happens on this page, and it stirs something within you, at least call a friend, pass the info on, give them this link. Encourage them to try really hard to get to info as it is printed and bring it with them to the Town Meetings. I think this year's Town Meting is June 3, but don't hold me to it. Double check on the date yourself. Keep your eyes and ears open, mark it on your calendar, and if there is any way you can get there, go!

    When items come up at the town meetings, and you are not satisfied you have enough info, call out "hold", so the question can be set aside for questions. Then, for heaven's sake, ASK A QUESTION. Here's another little hint, even if you know the answer to a question, but you want to make sure others know it, too, call for a "hold", ask the question, and let it be answered in front of the audience, so everyone else knows what you know that's so important.

    Town meetings are intimidating because people are afraid that they will be put down, for standing up. We need to get over that. It's costing us dearly.

    Now, for a start, you can read about this Route 20 "Improvement" stuff that's going on, by clicking on the link below. Think in dollar signs and keep on scrolling, take in all in, and guess how much money, time and trouble, this might cost us.Just highlight the link address below and copy it.

  2. Marilyn, Thank you. This is what taking ownership is all about. Thank you for the hints as well. Maybe, a small primer for those uneducated in how to make sense of a New England Town meeting may be in order to post here. Any takers?

  3. Wally, each year they hold a Pre-Town Meeting informational meeting on town meeting procedures.
    The time and date are listed below (unless they change the date, of course). It is usually (always?) televised. I haven't attended these, but have watched them on channel 11. They can be quite dry and tedious, but helpful and sometimes frustrating regarding rules and regulations. They are helpful. The more often you listen to these meetings, the more the rules begin to stay in your head, and, for some of us, the more you find that the moderator often has more power than we wish he had. But, that's they way it is, and we have to deal with it. So, everyone, let's, stop, look, listen, learn, call friends and neighbors, go to meetings, ask questions, speak up and vote.

    Pre-Town Meeting Town Meeting
    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM
    Veterans Memorial Hall, Town Hall

  4. Last year they had an educational meeting on channel 11 about the town meeting. The town moderator explained how it works. I think it was put on by the BOS but i am not certain of that. Also, again on channel 11 i believe there was a show maybe called " town meeting and you". I think that was put on by the Mass Moderators association.

    I admit the first couple town meetings i attended i was lost not knowing anything about substitute motions or any other procedural stuff. It was rather intimidating. The first meeting i attended there was a woman behind me that was very well versed in the procedure but was very rude with her comments about people standing up to be herd as they did not follow the rules as she saw. I had things to say but chose to remain silent for fear of sounding like a fool. Now when i have something to say i say it whether or not i sound like a fool, and i am fairly certain i do sound a fool at least half the time. I would much rather people make fools of themselves than sit there and be quiet.

  5. Thank you, Rob. Great advice. We all sound like a fool now, and again, but if we can feel good afterwards it's a wash. It comes down to speaking up at TM. Of course, there would be greater numbers if the Saturday, daytime TM plan had been passed...but there may still be hope on that front in the future.

  6. I believe you're only a fool if you vote on something you don't understand, there are no "dumb questions" if its meant to better understand an issue, some people may already know the answer and show their impatiences but that's their problem.
    Its true there are only so many meetings a person can attend but I think better attendance at the BOS meetings would be helpful, don't know if the Chair would ask for public input but there would be no harm in asking.
    Wish I had a solution as to how to get more people to attend Town Meetings, maybe when the tax rate gets high enough that will be the solution.


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