Letter: Stockbridge mess provides lesson to other towns
To the editor:
Clarence Fanto's regular coverage of the Stockbridge provides lessons for all Berkshire towns. His Dec. 1 article in The Eagle reveals how a small town administered by long-term residents, without the services of skilled professionals, can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous vendors.
What Mr. Fanto does not explore in his article is the fact that the fire chief is also a selectman. Isn't that a major personnel conflict? Isn't that a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house? Purchases were made through verbal contact and without any budgetary oversight. It is incompetence at best.
Many towns in south Berkshire County appear to be running more efficiently and without regular crises. Two that come to mind are Lee and Lenox which Stockbridge had an opportunity to join in gaining their professional services, but the selectmen opposed it.. It's not too late for the citizens of Stockbridge to reconsider this approach.
Other towns can learn from these mistakes and start to think about combining resources for basic services as well as for schools and larger multi-town opportunities. The numerous small towns in the Berkshires can no longer afford to operate on their own in the face of more complex and challenging economic times.
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