Letter: Successful term as Board chairman
To the editor:
A while ago I was talking with a friend about support for Stockbridge issues. "But Don! Who's your group?" she asked. "Stockbridge is my group" I answered. "Though we're rarely of one mind." In retrospect, it would surprise me if there is anyone in town who agrees with everything we've done or disagrees with everything either.
Since being elected selectman three years ago a lot has happened, and a lot has been accomplished: Completed three of seven bridges with two scheduled this year and two more under development; initiated the rebuild of our highway garage for November completion while preserving the Talbot Center; fixed the Main Street flooding problem; advised developers that while welcome they must respect neighborhood integrity; placed citizen safety first by confronting accident rates and potential dangers.
Stood for the right to manage ourselves; continued to work with neighboring towns on all levels; retained professional planner services for zoning problems; considered options for addressing housing and demographic issues; passed a marijuana bylaw and began consideration of short term rental regulations; insisted on televised open meetings properly posted and held at reasonable hours.
Continued in excellent financial position with fully funded reserves, an AA+ bond rating and low tax rate; formed an economic development group that is actively pursuing alternatives in response to S&P recommendations; established a committee on nonprofit contributions to municipal services; negotiated two union contracts and maintained fire services in spite of a labor action to the contrary; demanded fiscal responsibility from town employees irrespective of the individual or position.
Protected our environment with bans on Styrofoam and plastic bags while supporting green community and solar initiatives; stood strongly against lake herbicides while agreeing to a dredging plan and considering SBA's offer to negotiate; spoke up for human rights by passing a Sanctuary City resolution; funded park and beach redevelopment, and included our historic legacy in all decisions.
Certainly there was conflict: Activity generates it, our system is designed for it, this era personifies it, media feeds on it, and technology distributes it at the speed of light. But from vigorous debate comes a thorough exploration of issues and the greatest chance of solution. We did well these last three years — we've taken initiatives, made inroads, and with your vote I look forward to shepherding these along.
The writer is chairman of the Stockbridge Select Board and a candidate for re-election.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.