Vol. IV No. 13 7/1/2023
Reader to Reader
The Select Board appoints approximately 110 individuals to serve on Stockbridge committees for varying terms. At the last SB meeting, we voted in the slate of annual appointments. Unlike our elected positions, to run for which one must be a full-time resident, appointees can be part-time residents or residents of neighboring communities. We welcome all who want to serve on an appointed committee.
Towards the end, I asked whether we should consider a new committee comprised of second homeowners that I envision would add another five to seven volunteers to join the incredible slate we already have. I sent this letter as a follow-up to the presidents of all of the predominantly second-homeowner home associations in town.
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At the June 22, 2023, Select Board Meeting, I proposed a Second Homeowner Advisory Board that would be appointed by the Select Board based on recommendations/nominations from the public and from our predominantly seasonal-resident communities.
The Town is exploring ways to address a number of challenges we face, and this advisory panel would be charged with providing insight into Town priorities through the lens of part-time residents' needs and concerns. I envision a situation where our communities might nominate and recommend a representative for appointment, and this group would then set its meeting frequency, agenda, and from time to time prepare and disseminate recommendations to the Select Board for the Town to consider.
We will be discussing this idea at the July 27, 2023, Select Board/Second Homeowner Meeting at 6:30 pm. I'd welcome any feedback you might have on the idea or some variation thereof. I would also appreciate any discussion with your neighbors you might have, and feel free to share this email with Town stakeholders.
Stockbridge Board of Selectmen
To the Editor,
Ignoring for the moment the fact that we all have easy current access to our Town Administrator and Selectmen, we should bear in mind that the author of this idea was fixed last summer on segregating our second home population into a separate and higher tax payment than our fellow Stockbridge community members and taxpayers.
His best possible motivation notwithstanding, this recommendation can be easily seen as a strategic step towards that and should just be quietly tabled now. I agree with Joe's vision of divisive inefficient chaos that could ensue were this to be too quickly embraced. Our leaders, in particular, should be wary of being seduced by this.
Editor's note: Joe is Joseph Newburg. "The author of this idea" is Patrick White. Thank you, Mr. Einbinder, for sending your comments to Stockbridge Updates to be shared more broadly. We invite Mr. Newburg to send his comments to SU. In the interest of one community, SU strongly supports open forums and email groups that are open to everyone, not closed, so all can share and participate. Let's talk to each other.
To Stockbridge Updates, FYI
Hi Smitty [Pignatelli],
Mary and I hope you are well and enjoying the beginning of summer.
The reason for my note is I am about to launch a campaign here in Stockbridge to erect signs at our town lines that say, "TRUCKERS! NOISE SENSITIVE COMMUNITY TURN OFF JAKE BRAKES." The town erecting them is my issue along with the Select Board and I see no need for your involvement there.
However, as you may or may not know, about 60-75% of the 1st and 2nd homes in town hear the Turnpike 24/7. On the Turnpike, we have what I call the 'Valley of the Jakes'. Essentially it is an area between the western border of town going eastbound, and westbound a bit west of the Turnpike Service Area in Lee. Late at night, in addition to the never-ending sound of tires, it is loud and inconsiderate. Why?
Jake Brakes use exhaust to slow their trucks to save fuel. As a result, their mufflers blast loudly.
You may ask, "What about safety?" The reason I call it 'The Valley" is because after descending the two hills there is a long uphill with no corners. Safety here is not an issue.
Mary and I have driven extensively across the US and see these yellow signs on the Interstates. They are quite common and no surprise to truckers. They assure them safety is not a concern.
So, my question is: How do we get them erected on the Turnpike? It sure would quiet things down a bit in our town.
Please advise how I should proceed. Thank you in advance.
Very best regards,
Thank you. You are always looking out for our Town, and we all thank you for your tireless efforts. Once you succeed, please help me. My dream is less substantive, more fanciful, but I have always wanted at least one set of Burma Shave signs in Stockbridge — just for fun!
Photo: Patrick White