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

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Town Warrant Links

Submitted by a reader--ed.

Hi Wally,
Here are the links to the Town Warrant info for the town meeting, and to the Route 20 improvement study, the huge project that begins with the gateway zoning. Thanks for your web site. ~ Marilyn


  1. Just say NO to Gateway zoning articles 4 and 5.
    Gateway? No Way!

  2. Reposting on this topic.Sunday, May 19, 2013

    3,4,5,6 all should go down in my opinion. 3,4,5 to keep spending down.

    Article 6 because i think this town is ridiculous with the signs. If people spent half as much time worrying about other things than being sign police i think we would be better off. Would a neon sign at the laundromat really bring the town of Sturbridge to its knees? I think not.

    Article 3.
    We do not need any more town properties, whether its for parking or not. Its just more money spent. I have never been NOT able to find a parking spot at the town hall. (Nobody goes to meetings) So 208K plus costs associated with whatever they plan to do with it. I do not think it is a wise way to spend our tax dollars.

    I just did a bit more reading on article 4. WOW. A very well thought out article. So are all of these restrictions are placed on the business owners and future business owners? Would these kind of restrictions not scare prospective business owners from coming to town? It all sounds rather pricey though. A lot is going to be asked of the businesses and also the DPW. I think they will have a lot more work with keeping things beautiful. I assume we will be on the hook for the sidewalks that are missing in part of the Village Gateway District. They are cheap right. Voting no on 4 will put the brakes on a lot of future spending.

    Article 5.
    I do not know how this will effect us. However, i am concerned that any additional properties that are added to the Gateway district would require more use of tax dollars to fund maintenance and more sidewalks. I could be off on this though, it would not be the first time.
    Sunday, May 19, 2013

  3. Too much, already!Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Dear Reposting,

    You're right. We have to put a stop to this freight train. The Gateway zoning would just be the beginning.

    It's not just sidewalks and beautification, and all that, that we would have to pay for. If this plan is accepted by the voters and we bury the electric lines, remove a travel lane from Route 20, and build us a couple of round-abouts (rotaries), narrow down Route 20 (get this: "to contain the tourists" and make them stay longer to enjoy our little boutiques), WE GET TO PAY FOR THAT ROAD CONSTRUCTION, TO!

    The big businesses - The Host, Friendly's, etc. have their own parking and can pay for it. All the little businesses put together wouldn't generate enough tax money for US to build parking lots for them. We have to pay for our places to park at home.

    We owe huge money on the lands this town bought a few years ago - we collected a surtax on peoples' property taxes to pay for the CPA/CPC expenditures, and BORROWED, borrowed more.

    Yup,we have big bills to pay. Yet some of the same people who proposed all that borrowing are trying to sell us on this Gateway project. They are, in effect, trying to price most of us right out of here.

    Call your friends. Call you neighbors. I'm calling mine. We must say NO to the Gateway articles 4 and 5, and to plenty of other stuff, too.

  4. If you really want to take your town back, NO on 4,5,6 (Village Gateway...sent it back for a less broad re-write) and 20 (Fincom's diabolical scheme to take $150,000 out of the Selectmen's tax relief plan and stick it back in town coffers through taxation) Approve 20 & 21 (tax relief) and someone move to hear 8 (whole budget) as soon as the meeting begins.

    Also move to hear the Betterment article early. It has $200,000 in geegaws that need to be re-directed at fire dept equipment gear now. People don't even begin to know how bad it is at SFD. We will soon, but I hear it's much worse than the Fire Dept study said it was. BOS wants to use Betterment money for fire gear asap, not flower barrels, flags, and spare ice rink liners and a loader the town doesnt need. Fin Com does. Frippery. Spending money just to spend it. Its the sickest and lamest thing I think I've ever seen. They want to raise taxes for fire dept gear. Its sick. It's a test of wills between BOS and FinCom now. Don't let FinCom win!

    In order to support the Selectmen's $211,000 in cuts it'll be line by line slog and it has to be heard early before people leave. Do not let the same 150 hangers on make all of your decisions this year. Motion Article 8 up front as soon as the meeting starts.

    The finCom and it's allies (including the Moderator I think) will try to stall and confuse people. Do not let them do it.

    Send a message to the over-fed Millionaires on FinCom, and that disconnected Planning Board that wants to Nantucket-ize Sturbridge that their acid-trip is not yours. They all think people are stupid and don't care. The contempt fincom has for average people is palpable. If enough mobilize against them they will get the message that people are wise to their game. The comments on this blog show me there is hope, but only if people get mobilized. Get organized, get angry, and take your town back from these demagogues.


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