Vol. IV No. 3 2/1/2023
Reader to Reader
To the Readers:
The people of Stockbridge have different opinions on different issues. National media says we spend too much time in echo chambers, closed email and chat groups, and only talk to the like-minded. Stockbridge Updates is open to all. You write it, SU posts it. (No exceptions except as posted in our policies)
It doesn't mean SU agrees or disagrees; our aim is to have an open forum a place for diverse opinions and different voices. Join in.
Carole Owens, Managing Editor
Thank you again for keeping us well informed through S/U.
As I reviewed the S/U article on the loss by demolition, I could not help but be drawn by the presentation of Daniel Chester French's design rendering, which appears to have been very well preserved.
It is a truly simple structure of very modest dimension. The materials to construct a faithful replica would probably be of a modest amount. I would hazard a guess that we have the local carpentry and construction talents to build the Town an excellent replica that might last at least another 100 years.
I do not wish to address the issues of culpability, crime, nor punishment. But rather I'll keep my comments to historical continuity. Clearly, the property owner of 22 Prospect Hill Road did not want the Pavilion to remain on his property. As with our sacred Mission House, a new location for the proposed French Pavilion would be appropriate.
I propose we consider the possibility of looking forward to enjoying the French designed pavilion, accept that the original is destroyed, as a fait accompli; and move on to deciding where such a faithful replica should be placed; and I propose the funding for the construction and foundation come from a grant of the Historical Preservation Committee.
I wonder what a lovingly faithful reproduction Tea House pavilion, built to the archival photos and blueprints — and given a prominent spot in town, might cost? Perhaps a generous goodwill lead gift from the property owners, some pro bono construction from some of our gifted craftsmen, and something from the historic preservation fund and Chesterwood would do it. We need some healing on this. There are many historical buildings that have, for one reason or another, to be replicated.
Where there's a will...
I want to take issue with Sally Underwood-Miller's remark that second homeowners "don't even vote". We are not permitted to.
You are correct that only primary homeowners can vote. However, did you know, it is your choice? The law only allows you to be a voter in one location, but you pick the location in which to be a voter. There are a number of variables for you to weigh in making your decision, but it is your choice and your choice only. Become a Massachusetts voter or remain a voter in another place, do what pleases you.
Thank you for writing,
I guess photography has a real function given the ongoing desecration of Stockbridge' s past... pictures last forever!
Looking forward to more ...
Thank you for all your photographs. Each makes SU better.
My piece in this issue is over 400 words. But when it comes to a Trillion Bucks, there are No Limits!
You got in under the wire. The text of your article is 303 words. Images captions make up the rest. Thanks for being the first contributor to SU's new Humor Section.
Editor's Note: Patrick White is Chair, Stockbridge Select Board
To the Editor:
At the Jan. 26 Select Board Meeting, town resident Michael Roisman presented the select board with a request to sponsor an article on the Town Warrant that would change the way members of the Finance Committee are selected — change from being appointed by the Town Moderator to being elected by town voters. All 3 selectmen responded with their thoughts on the issue and did not support the article. Michael will move forward with a citizen's petition which I hope you will support at Town Meeting. Thank you, Michael Roisman for pursuing this. Thanks to CTSB we are able to access the meeting and replay the discussion — it begins about 18 minutes into the meeting.
There is no term limits for a Moderator. Finance is a 7 person committee with 2 alternates each with a term of 2-3 years so most years there are 3 members who are up for re-appointment to a 3 year term but it can vary. To my knowledge, there is no public announcement when there are openings on the Finance Committee. Let's show some confidence in our informed electorate being capable of checking a candidate's background and qualifications before voting for them. Let's reach out to the whole town to find interested, qualified candidates. As Chuck stated, "it's not a popularity contest".
Editor's note: Schwerner is Chair of the Democratic Town Committee
"Article XXII does not mention size as a variable that triggers or fails to trigger the process required prior to an allowable demolition." I did read the bylaw, Consider items 2.4, "as required by the State Building Code," which does seem to tie the article to state law and 2.6-2.7, speaking to pre-identification and to 500 square feet, and thus seem unlikely to apply to this structure that I too wish had been preserved. Consider also that the owners DID "seek out alternative options to preserve, rehabilitate or restore such buildings rather than to demolish them," albeit one might have hoped for more.
Peter L. Strauss
Thank you for the opportunity to end this issue where it began — you told me how to get to no; now tell me how to get to yes because, as you wrote, we all hoped for more.
Greetings from Antarctica. Photo: Lionel Delevingne