Vol. IV No. 13 7/1/2023
Down Memory Lane
By Carole Owens
Here we go again — planning.
January 19, 2016, The Berkshire Eagle reported, "Confronted by a shifting landscape, officials have scheduled a pair of community visioning meetings to help navigate the series of changes the town will face in the coming months and years."
"Led by consultants from Boston, the workshops will focus on how the Town is changing: declining population, rising costs, exploring shared services with Lee and Lenox...Currently, about three out of five homes in town are owned by seasonal residents...about 70 percent of local tax revenues...17 percent of homes included children, while 41 percent included seniors."
2023 — Through the Housing Production Plan, we are addressing declining primary population and concomitant decline in school enrollment, increased second homeowner population and concomitant rising prices.
In 2016, SB member Steve Shatz said: "What I'd like to see come out is an intelligent discussion about the future structure of the town and our ability to continue to provide the services people have come to expect and those we will need as we get older."
2023 — Stockbridge is exploring shared services with Lee Fire Department, to continue to provide requisites services to the community we will need as our population grows older.
In June 1996, we issued our Master Plan report based on consultant's input along with the outcome of public workshops, and input at steering committee meetings. The report lays the groundwork for development and implementation.
In 2016, a spokesman said, "Before there can be a meaningful plan to move forward with community preservation and development, residents must agree on a picture of what they want their community to be like."
2023 — Led by a consultant, AHT will schedule workshops with the public. A needs assessment will be followed by a survey, workshops, and public input to form a vision of what we want Stockbridge to be. The final report will be ready by late fall or early winter 2023.
One way to look at this is to respect planning. Another way is to wonder why the variables are always the same. A third way is: Life is what happens when you are making other plans.
Dogs of Stockbridge. Photo: Blue Moon Images/Dana Goedewaagen