Letter: Elect Rasmussen as Stockbridge planner

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To the editor:

We are writing to support Christine Rasmussen for a two-year term on the Stockbridge Planning Board. We are convinced she has the right experience, skills and temperament for a critical role at a critical time.

Stockbridge is facing challenging times. Deteriorating infrastructure, aging population and a limited number of tax-paying businesses all place significant pressure on property taxes as the primary source of revenue for the town. While it is likely that some residents could easily accommodate higher property taxes, many others could not. We need to find a way to grow our tax base while preserving the historic character, environmental assets and inherent values of our community.

Christine grew up working on her family dairy farm in the Berkshires, where she acquired a love of the land that has shaped her career. In upstate New York, she worked in a number of organizations developing land use policy, and was instrumental in preserving tens of thousands of acres of farmland from suburban sprawl and opportunistic development.

Then Christine moved to Gloucester, where she was elected to four terms on the City Council. She chaired both the Finance Committee and the Planning and Development Committee, which wrote the city master plan and implemented innovative zoning ordinances to reduce sprawl, protect the environment, and generate sustainable development.

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We feel lucky that Christine has moved back to Stockbridge, where she was appointed to a one-year term on the Planning Board. She has already shown us there's no substitute for hard work studying all sides of land use issues, and details of bylaws in particular. She's not only open-minded by nature, but is free of conflicts of interest. And she has proven she can calmly mediate emotionally-charged debate in a way that seeks to understand all sides, and to aim for balanced decisions for the future of Stockbridge.

Please join us in voting May 21 for Christine Rasmussen.

Chris Ferrero,

Marty Sennett,

Stockbridge


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