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, November 12, 2013

Everyone Has A Strawberry Moment, Sometimes, More Than Once

Personnel issues are private.  Doesn't matter if the personnel are still employed by the town, or employed elsewhere.  We have heard those sitting at the tables at the town hall refuse to comment on certain subjects for this very reason, yet recently this policy was ignored in order to try, and make a point.  All the attempt did was confirm to many what has been thought for a long time.

The reasons behind anyone leaving their place of employment is between their employer, and the employee. No one else.  For the employer to address those reasons  in a public forum in order for them to give credence to other issues is a violation of the employees privacy, and their trust.

And, it's just wrong.

One can't have it both ways.  One either decides to serve others the right way, the best way, and never at others expense, no matter what the issues, or simply don't serve.

It's a simple idea, but so very hard for some to grasp.

Sturbridge selectman reveals reasons for recent police,
fire department resignations


 STURBRIDGE — The chairman of the Board of Selectmen, reacting to a recent story in the Telegram & Gazette, gave a strong defense this week of the job the police chief is doing as acting fire chief.
Thomas R. Creamer told his colleagues at their meeting Monday that the Nov. 1 article was misleading when it listed 10 public safety workers who have resigned, or, in one case, taken a demotion, since Police Chief Thomas J. Ford III became acting fire chief on April 25. Chief Ford replaced Chief Leonard E. Senecal, a 35-year veteran of the force, who was placed on paid administrative leave April 22 after a consultant's report critical of his management. Chief Senecal retired May 17.

Over objections from the town administrator and some selectmen that he was violating confidential personnel matters, Mr. Creamer ran through the list of names to show that the resignations were not connected to mismanagement by Chief Ford.

"You want to sit here and say it's a personnel issue. It is a personnel issue," Mr. Creamer said. "We have a police chief now who is being attacked by individuals in this community and we have a personal responsibility to assure that the chief of police is not inappropriately maligned and yet members of this board and, in some cases, the town administrator has stood silently by while the police chief has been maligned. And I will no longer do that."

After that, there was no stopping Mr. Creamer until he was done with his list of names.

"Ahh, the strawberries..."

Part of the reason John C. Marinelli requested a voluntary reduction in rank from fire captain to lieutenant was that he was under review for potential termination, Mr. Creamer said.  Lisa Keay, the Fire Department's administrative assistant, resigned because it had become apparent that "there were irregularities ... with the potential documentations of time and that potential documentations of time was in full knowledge
of the previous fire chief," Mr. Creamer said.

As for the resignation of full-time Firefighter Eric Roppolo, who said in his letter of resignation that "the fire department is being led in a dangerous direction," Mr. Creamer said: "This comes from an individual who during his three years as the union steward allowed deplorable and dangerous conditions to exist ... and never did anything, never raised an issue about it, nor rectified it."

And as for temporary Deputy Fire Chief Edward G. Bourassa, who resigned last week saying the department is "being run by fear and intimidation by a misdirected, unpredictable police chief," Mr. Creamer said he is a "good individual" but he disagrees completely with his assertion.

On-call Firefighter Edward Chamberland resigned but "did not, in any way, express any dissatisfaction" with the Fire Department, and on-call Firefighter Garrett Danna resigned to take a full-time job in Deerfield, Mr. Creamer said.

Police Lt. David A. Diogo resigned to become a patrolman in the Wilbraham Police Department because he did not relish the idea of being in the administrative level anymore, Mr. Creamer said.


  1. That was the most entertaining BOS meeting in quite some time. My girlfriend was actually getting into it. It will be nice when we get a chief in the fire department and things settle down a bit.

  2. Sometimes good people find themselves in bad situations, and sometimes they quietly do the best they can to get out of those situations without making waves. Waves come in and waves go back out again – only to come back …

    ‘Remember the old Kenny Rogers song?

    “You've got to know when to hold 'em
    Know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away
    Know when to run
    You never count your money
    When you're sittin' at the table
    There'll be time enough for countin'
    When the dealin's done’

    ’Every gambler knows
    That the secret to survivin'
    Is knowin' what to throw away
    And knowin' what to keep
    'Cause every hand's a winner
    And every hand's a loser…”

    “People have to do the best they can with the hands they’ve been dealt.”

  3. Power corrupts ... even on a small scale, such as a chairmanship. Especially like it when he starts quoting faith and scriptures. To paraphrase Boswell: "Religion is the last refuge of a scoundrel."


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