Letter: Bill allows Stockbridge to follow Vermont's lead
To the editor:
In his column of June 9, Clarence Fanto mentions Vermont's Operation Recruitment program to pay new residents who can telecommute and live wherever high-speed internet is available up to $10,000 over two years. This has met with some success as reported by Mr. Fanto: "More taxpayers, more families to populate schools. So far, 33 mostly young families have jumped at the bait, 87 people all told, since the come-on was launched in January."
Mr. Fanto then goes on to state "Innovations to lure individuals and families to our county are worth exploring." There is currently a similar Massachusetts petition, accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 208 signed by state Sen. Adam G. Hinds and other members of the General Court for legislation to establish the Western Massachusetts remote worker relocation incentive program. Status: Referred to the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee.
I encourage my fellow citizens in Stockbridge and our neighbors in Southern Berkshire County to urge our representatives to pass this bill. If we in Stockbridge could bring even one third of the number of families that Vermont has convinced to relocate by incentive, we would benefit. Encouraging relocation by people who are already employed makes economic sense in a area where well paying jobs are scarce. We need to bring in younger families who can afford to purchase a home and become active members of our community.
According to Mildred Warner, George Homsy, and Esther Greenhouse Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University: "Planners need to craft a common vision that recognizes the interdependence of the generations. Planners could use public meetings as well as comprehensive and neighborhood plans to emphasize the connections and help older adults understand that their political power can shape communities to be more supportive of children and young parents. Such changes, in turn, will help older adults build a quality and comfortable community in which they can age in place."
The writer was recently elected to the Stockbridge Select Board.
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