Vol. III No. 8 4/15/2022
Reader to Reader
I miss my town.
I miss the town where I grew up, where we had neighborhoods with children playing and you knew your neighbors. My hometown was Stockbridge Massachusetts where you knew most everyone walking on the street, we didn't need house numbers because we all had names that we all knew. The few employees that the town had were town residents.
We didn't have to leave town for the necessities of life, we had 2 grocery stores, a store where we could buy clothes and toys at Christmas time, we had a hardware store, two businesses with lunch counters, a drug store, one gift shop, a meat market, and a bank. There was even a barbershop and a tailor. We even had a real newspaper that had pages of local news.
There were two auto dealerships and 5 full-service stations.
We had a volunteer police department and a volunteer fire department and a police officer on the street. We didn't have much in the line of tourists just people who came around for a concert at Tanglewood.
Tanglewood was a formal place where the women wore gowns, and the men wore suits and sometimes tuxedoes. We had no museums except for the Mission House. There were many dairy farms and hundreds of pleasure horses. You could hear cows and chickens in every neighborhood.
No need for 911, you just picked up your telephone and the LOCAL operator knew you and your family. We had real health care and doctors made routine home visits. If you had an emergency, you could go to Riggs where the doctors were MDs.
My hometown has become just a place where we force out the wildlife. The bears are out and very active and aggressive about food. They have broken into/forced their way into several garages. They are looking for garbage, bird seed and cattle/pet food. We can't totally blame the bears; they were here first, and we are allowing too much development
I sure do miss my hometown of Stockbridge Mass.
Photo: Jay Rhind
Under "Penny-wise" in your April 1 issue, you write that "Two years and approaching $80,000 later, two consultants did nothing for the Planning Board." This is grossly unfair and inaccurate.
In fact, both consultants who worked on an open space zoning bylaw helped us immensely to understand the issues, the advantages and disadvantages, and the complexities of creating this kind of bylaw. After much work and time spent studying the issues, including making site visits and reviewing in detail many drafts of a possible bylaw, the Planning Board recognized we could not agree on such a bylaw and present it at Town Meeting. This was not a sign of "doing nothing" but a recognition that, at least at this time, a deeply divided Planning Board was not able to come to agreement.
We did what a Planning Board should do, which is to rationally discuss our concerns and questions, using consultants appropriately for professional advice and guidance, to see if a bylaw might work in Stockbridge. The two consultants, rather than "doing nothing," were important advisors in an honest effort by the Planning Board to do its duty.
Editor's note: Bill Vogt is currently Chairman, Stockbridge Planning Board, and is running for re-election.
I don't know if you post things like this in Updates but I lost the match to this earring while walking my dog in downtown Stockbridge this morning (4/12). I retraced my steps and didn't see it. If anyone found it, I would love to get it back.