Vol. II No. 11 6/1/2021
Reader to Reader — We Got Mail
From Carole Owens — a thank you and a correction.
Thank you to everyone who sent kind words about the SU election issue — it is always nice to hear words like "Boffo" and "Superb".
Correction: SU reported Kate Fletcher holds a Master's Degree in planning. Kate would like us to know that while she took courses in planning as part of her master's program, ultimately, her Master's Degree was in Public Policy.
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Here's some ground rules for [Memorial Day]:
1. Don't wish me a Happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about brave men and women dying.
2. It's not a holiday. It's a remembrance.
3. If you want to know the true meaning, visit Arlington or your local VA, not Disneyland.
4. Don't tell me how great any one political power is. Tell me about Marvin Shields, Chesty Puller, George Patton, John Basilone, Dakota Meyer, Kyle Carpenter, Mitchell Paige, Ira Hayes, Chris Kyle and any other heroes too numerous to name. Attend a Bell Ceremony and shed some tears.
5. Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I have carried the burden all too many times for my warriors who now stand their post for God.
6. Say a prayer... and then another.
7. Remember the Fallen for all the Good they did while they were here.
8. Reach out and let a Vet know you're there, we're losing too many in "peace".
In honor of Memorial Day, we will post Stockbridge Updates earlier rather than on the 1st. Your letter will be included as good ground rules to know and remember. Thank you for organizing Memorial Day in Stockbridge each year with Lisa Thorne and thanks for sending along the ground rules.
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Congratulations to Gary Pitney and Carl Sprague on their overwhelming victory as new members of the planning board. Each has a distinguished record for long, dedicated and honorable service to our town. Their victory was a clear referendum to change the direction of the planning board, which is set on enacting a by-right development friendly "open space" zoning bylaw. The original mandate to the planning board was to review, revise or eliminate the Cottage Era Estate bylaw. That task has been back-burnered. Instead through the expensive work of consultants not familiar with our town and encouragement by board members with a clear disposition to shape the outcome, a proposal has been advanced that presents a major change in land use. The proposed new bylaw may not reflect the views of the town, particularly, if the planning board election is any indicator. The newly constituted planning board should take a step back, halt the work of their consultants and convene public forums with the town citizens to fully understand what the town wants, if anything, in the way of changes to its bylaws. The planning board should be more concerned about hearing from the town's residents, rather than from outside developers, to shape the town's future.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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As a current and former member of multiple boards and committees, and most importantly, as a tax-paying, voting resident interested in openness and accountability in our government, I cannot over emphasize how important I consider the continued zoom recording of our public meetings to be. I also believe return to the previous method of meeting, that is, public congregation in our town hall, is an equally important aspect of normal community expression, and should be restored. Such meetings can easily be combined with a mandatory zoom recording. Unlike our policy before the pandemic, when only certain meetings were recorded, I believe it is essential that ALL public meetings be recorded via zoom, but that the public always have the option to attend via zoom on a live, real-time basis. Such live and recoded meetings afford many benefits to the functioning of our government, among them are:
Improved access to meetings by the public, many of who might not otherwise be unable to attend. I have seen this repeatedly as chair of the board of health.
Meetings become available for viewing on CTSB later, again affording the public access that would have been impossible without the recording. This also has helped in confirming the accuracy of minutes and can be of help to committee members who are responsible for ensuring reliability of minutes.
Finally, these live, recorded meetings ensure that the spirit of the open-meeting laws prevails in our town. Who would NOT want their committee meeting to be completely visible and transparent to the public?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There seems to be support for your viewpoint. In a recent meeting, Town Administrator Michael Canales mentioned that a Zoom recording facilitates compliance with the Public Records Law. You mention Zoom also facilitates compliance with the Open Meeting Law. On SU behalf, I attend meetings, take notes, and write the "Notes from..." news items. Easier with Zoom.
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I enjoy your newsletter and sharing some of its materials. Could you add our executive director to the distribution list?
Sarah Gregory DelSignor
Please go to www.stockbridgeupdates.com. In the upper right-hand corner, fill out the form. At SU we do not add or delete any subscriber name; only our subscribers do.
On May 24, the Stockbridge Historical Commission met with an engineer from EDM as well as TA Michael Canales and SB member Patrick White to discuss renovations for the Chime Tower, should the proposed plan be approved by the voters at Town Meeting. Children's Chime Tower, 1910, courtesy of Maria Carr.