Vol. IV No. 8 4/15/2023
Key Takeaways from the Joint SB/Finance Committee Meeting, April 14
The part of the meeting that was joint with Finance Committee included a request from Fire Chief Vincent Garofoli for: the new fire truck (approved at last Town Meeting but not yet ordered) — SB voted to order immediately. The Chief also requested 25 new suits of turnout gear, sharing that the good news, the SFD increased from 18 — 25. SB approved. Finally, the Chief requested an additional full-time annual contract employee. SB approved. At which point the Finance Committee left.
The meeting continued with the SB approving the articles on the Warrant. White suggested we do NOT leave articles most likely to be debated until the end. He mentioned the bylaw changes and the citizen petition. Minacci and Cardillo agreed to move the bylaws up on the Warrant but wanted the citizen's petition at the end.
There was a report from Hugh page on road improvements to begin "after Tanglewood". There were appointments to the Cultural Council, Conservation Commission, and Kampoosa Bog Committee.
Stockbridge Bowl Association, supported by the SB, will attempt to increase the acreage of weeds in Stockbridge Bowl harvested this summer.
Although the discussion of the Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw became contentious, it was unclear what second homeowners, Patty Caya and Joe Newberg, were arguing about since the language they argued about was changed. Anyone can have an ADU. If it is rented, the owner has to be in residence and only one can be rented at a time.
Shelby Marshall spoke about the different circumstances and goals of primary residents and second homeowners; White offered that the current bylaw proposal is identical to the ones in other Mass municipalities including Medford MA where Caya is a primary resident. He asked is she objected to the same language in Medford? Both Minacci and Cardillo voted against placing it on the warrant at this time — White said he would continue to work on it.
Denny Alsop asked the Select Board to have reports from the Rest of River (ROR) made to SB in public sessions rather than in Executive Session. Minacci said that may not be allowed by the ROR Inter Municipal Agreement (IMA). Alsop said folks do not understand what is going on and need the facts. (Scroll down to read Alsop piece). White said he would try.
Josh Bloom from Lee MA offered some information. Lee voted not to pay the money annually and to have open informational meetings. He shared that Stockbridge voted to spend $15,000 for a lawyer to file an "Intervening brief" supporting General Electric and against the Housatonic River Imitative lawsuit (HRI v. GE). If GE wins, Bloom said, thousands of trucks [carrying PCBs] will be routed through Stockbridge streets (perhaps Stockbridge Main Street) for years. White asked for more information about the trucks.
Photo: Xavier Letteron