To the editor of THE EAGLE:
When you purchase a home that you planned as your "starter home" to raise your family, or as a place to spend your retirement years, you plan some level of security that you can afford the monthly costs. I bought my home because I recognize the value of living in a community where neighbors care for and look after each other. When out of the blue you are hit with a 60 percent increase in monthly fees in less than three years, you wonder: "Is this fair?" If those increases were based on legitimate costs, or due to improvements in conditions, then yes, maybe they are fair. But when you live at Mill Pond Park and are hit with paying an extra $155 a month in fees, you have to look around and see what justified such an increase.
The residents at Mill Pond Park looked and looked, and could only find roads filled with potholes that create a major problem for emergency vehicles to reach a person in distress. Look a little closer and see the dead trees with limbs that have already fallen on power lines, and many ready to fall on homes with the next storm. Keep looking and you will not find any improvements to justify such a rent increase. And when you are on a fixed income, you may be needing to look for a new place to live that you can afford.
Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Downing and Rep. Pignatelli, a bill was passed allowing a Rent Control Board for the mobile park in West Stockbridge. Thanks to the long hours of work by the town administrator and Select board, bylaws were developed. And thanks to the efforts of the residents of the town, at the town meeting, affordable housing is now a reality in West Stockbridge.
NANCY W. HALE
The writer is president of the Mill Pond Park Tenants Association.