Vol. II No. 10 5/15/2021
Stockbridge 2030? Part Two
by Larry Ackerman
Right now, job one is to paint a picture of how we'd like our town to look in the future — and to plan, accordingly. The Planning Board could lead a purposeful conversation about that future as it pertains to land use. What are our needs? Do we need another resort? A broader small-business commercial base? More housing that serves different groups (e.g., housing for the elderly, downsizers, young families)? The answers to these questions depend entirely on what we decide we want Stockbridge to stand for.
Let's hammer out that vision, together. Only then will be in a position to make smart decisions about zoning and development. I'm sure that whatever is ultimately agreed to won't meet all of my hopes, nor will they meet all of yours. But at least we'll have a picture of what we can reasonably achieve and a good idea about why it's worth achieving. Let's be realistic in our expectations and not change just for the sake of change. There's an expression that If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
Nothing is black and white. It's never helpful to claim that it's my way or the highway. There's no room for absolutism when the long-term health of our community is at stake. Which brings me back to Norman Rockwell.
Inside the nostalgia that characterizes Rockwell's work lies a keen awareness of the human condition. Humor, fear, struggle, hope, friendship, courage, even diversity all show up in his art — all the things that make a community strong. Let's tap into these realities as we move ahead.
Editor's Note: If you want to put the pieces together, Part One ran in the May 1 issue of SU. You can find it by clicking here.
Strawberry fields forever. Photo: Patrick White