Vol. IV No. 11 6/1/2023
Editor's Note: The following meetings were not posted on CTSB before SU went to press: Planning Board, May 16; Affordable Housing Trust, May 22; Cemetery Commission, May 23; Conservation Commission May 23, and Stockbridge Bowl Stewardship Commission. Once posted SU will catch up and report as fast as it can so readers will be fully informed.
Key Take Aways from the Town Meeting, May 15, 2023
By bundling appropriation articles and allowing one vote on many rather than voting on each article separately, the meeting moved quickly — just over two hours. If, however, there was one article in the bundle that required discussion, any one attendee could call "hold". That article would be held — removed from the bundle and voted on separately after discussion. Two were held:
1. Under the Community Preservation recommended allocations, a hold was put on a $300,000 allocation for purchase of "Fenn Farm" by Rich Bradway, Chair of the Stockbridge Land Trust. The other CPC allocations were approved as a bundle and then Bradway explained the held item. The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans will purchase the 315-acre tract with Commonwealth Municipal Vulnerability MVA money and will not need CPC money. The item was removed from the CPC Article and $300,000 returned to CPC General fund.
2. Denny Alsop put a hold on the $25,000 request by the Rest of River Committee (RoR). Town has been awarding $25-35,000 to RoR annually for more than 10 years (Over $300,000). Alsop wanted to know what the money would be used for now that the contract with GE/EPA was signed. That seemed to be the culmination of the RoR mandate, so what else was there to do?
As Stockbridge rep to RoR, Steve Shatz said RoR would oversee GE compliance.
Editor's note: The 21-page letter from EPA to Senator Elizabeth Warren appended to this issue contains information that EPA has retained professional consultants to oversee compliance.
3. Jim Balfanz put a hold on the $25,000 to pay for an engineer's report and permits to improve and make the boat ramp safer. His objection appeared to be that no taxpayer money should be spent but Commonwealth money should pay for the work.
All articles passed. The Citizen's Petition to elect rather than have the Town Moderator appoint the Finance Committee failed.
It was very nice to see the Town help the Moderator and call (gently) from the floor what Article we were on, whether it was time to vote or time for discussion. Gary Johnston has been Moderator for fifty years — it is a milestone if not a record — one to congratulate him for. Everyone helped him out and moved the meeting along out of respect.
At age 100, Bob Alsop (seated; second left) preparing to give a speech at Tyringham's Memorial Day Observance. Photo: Patrick White