Vol. II No. 16 8/15/2021
by Patrick White
When it comes to my Select Board colleagues, I believe the town is fortunate to have their insight and experience. We had a pretty successful year last year when Chuck was chair. We added a great Town Administrator, managed to keep the town running smoothly, and strengthened our bylaws. Roxanne, this year's chairman, is constantly rolling up her sleeves to continue Chuck's mantra of "getting the job done". It's an honor and a pleasure to serve alongside them.
We still have a lot of work to do. Here are three examples:
- We're finally making some headway on our backlog of bridges, trying to finish Larrywaug and come up with a plan for Curtisville. We recently learned that dredging the lake would cost upwards of $4.5 million, double the original budget. We'll be making big decisions and managing complex projects for years to come.
- Enrollment in our school district is falling: by 2030, it will be half of what it was in 2010. Stockbridge and seven other towns are exploring a merger of our two districts. Expect a proposal with several options next Spring, and a plan to renovate or rebuild the high school soon thereafter. Once again: big and complex endeavors.
- With half the town over 65, what housing do we need for our neighbors who want to stay but have too much house to manage? New zoning may be needed to allow it, with strong incentives to build it.
Which brings me to transparency. I feel strongly it is the town's job, not yours, to make it easy for you to stay informed. You have the option to attend our meetings in person, but what if you can't? You can now participate via Zoom remotely, or watch the recordings online afterwards. The Select Board has strongly urged all boards to conduct these hybrid meetings.
Another amazing new option: Stockbridge Updates. Twice monthly, Editor Carole Owens compiles a digest summarizing our public meetings, and a forum for you to join the discussion by contributing a letter or opinion piece.
These new methods of interaction serve the community, town hall, and town boards by creating innovative ways for you to both stay informed and say what's on your mind. We're not perfect, and sometimes your feedback is negative. That's ok: for the best idea to win, you sometimes need to challenge ours.
Let's make better decisions — together.
Photo: Lionel Delevingne