To the Editor:
The Stockbridge community has had discontentment for the past few years. If one goes to the post office and knows the people, they will tell what is on their minds. If you ask questions and then listen you learn things. Over the past year or so many town folk have done just that — saying how upset they were about things in our town.
John Hart did not create the polarization or schism. It was already there. He just reported it. In fact, he did what our elected officials should have done — listened and learned that there was disagreement and dissatisfaction about actions taken and decisions made.
All of us in town have feelings about our town and how it is run. Just because we disagree does not mean polarization. Democracy is all about different opinions. And freedom of speech is a right we all have. There are people in our town who do not feel comfortable writing or standing up at town meeting to voice their feelings. It takes a lot of courage to do that. The only letter I have written in Berkshire Edge was blasted by someone saying my “letter reads like a confession of stupidity.” So, why would I ever want to voice my opinion again? If people do not have a voice, then we do not have a democracy. And if we disagree with each other, it only helps to get to the place we need in government. That is the process we have and we have to use.
John and I and others love this town, love living and working here. John has given over 20 years to this town by being on the Conservation Commission. They keep our waters safe and clean. It is an important job and is not always easy. Some folks try to circumvent this Commission either by ignorance to the law, or by direct actions where they do not care about the law. I served on Parks and Recreation for 15 years. These are elected or appointed positions – no pay. There are many people in our town who serve in this way – and we need that in a small town. Thank you to each one. And also, I thank all the people who have been select board members. It is a thankless job and a big responsibility.
Leaders do need to listen to their constituents. And if voters disagree with decisions, they can use their vote to change those leaders. That happens all the time, and, in fact, happened in May and then another time just yesterday. I dare say it will happen again in the years to come. The people of Stockbridge are speaking with their vote for Mr. Ernest Cardillo, twice — those that are discontented.