New Marlborough must proceed with ‘due diligence’

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By Sunday, Apr 8 Letters  9 Comments

To the editor:

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

— Henry David Thoreau

The historic township of New Marlborough is nestled like a “Diamond in the Rough” in the southwestern corner of Massachusetts. It is just one of the many “Crown Jewels” of Berkshire County that makes tourism such a vibrant economic stronghold in the county. While, other towns in Berkshire County can proudly boast of their iconic cultural attractions such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, Tanglewood, Jacobs Pillow, and Chesterwood, New Marlborough’s claim to fame is its scenic beauty, rustic charm, and quiet solitude.

On April 11 at 6 p.m. residents of New Marlborough will have the opportunity to attend a public hearing at the Town Hall to learn more about the proposed “Temporary Moratorium on Marijuana Businesses.” This would establish a process to proceed slowly, cautiously, and with due diligence in adopting adequate bylaws governing the implementation of the new state marijuana laws for the town of New Marlborough.

One year ago today, on April 8, 2017, the New Marlborough Planning Board held a public hearing on their recommendation for placing a “Temporary Moratorium on Solar Panel Installations.” Our Planning Board member, who is the representative to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, offered wise counsel to all other members present, in reference to solar panel installations. He stated, there was a need to “proceed with caution” and he further claimed “it would be prudent to take time to write a bylaw which encourages wise and predictable land use.”He concluded his remarks by reminding all members present, “as a public board the Planning Board must exercise due diligence.”

In regard to the current marijuana laws enacted by the State of Massachusetts, I concur with the insightful words of wisdom offered by our Planning Board member at the hearing just one year ago today that “there is a need to proceed with caution” and “it would be prudent to take time to write a bylaw which encourages wise and predictable land use.”A vote for the “temporary moratorium on marijuana businesses” in New Marlborough would accomplish this important objective. 

On April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall, voters in New Marlborough will have the opportunity to cast a  yes vote to preserve their little “Diamond in the Rough” for an interim period of time while giving Planning Board members the time necessary to “write a bylaw which encourages wise and predicable land use.”Or to cast a no vote which I assume would mean there is no need to “proceed with caution.”No need for “due diligence,” defined as ”the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property.“

The residents of New Marlborough enjoy their little “Diamond in the Rough,” as humble as it may be, and my guess is they will pack the Town Hall and stand shoulder to shoulder to preserve and protect their little gem until adequate bylaws can be written and due diligence can be exercised; just as we were properly advised one year ago today.

Lucinda Shmulsky

New Marlborough


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9 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Marc says:

    People who resist change really bore me. I came here 30 years ago. I’m glad things have changed since I arrived. Do we want our towns to never evolve? Elitist go away.

    1. James says:

      It’s true Marc. These people are amberists. They would be happy to seal the town in Amber thus suffocating the successional and incremental evolution necessary for hamlets to become villages, and villages into towns. Every new proposal is met with hyperboles of appocoliptic doom. Meanwhile, over capitalization of expenditures leads to higher taxes. Population is aging and the young are an endangered species. Where will the revenues come from?

    2. Lucinda says:

      This letter endorses the “open public hearing” on April11th followed by the “public vote” on April 13th specifically to promote broad deliberation and dialog that includes “all points of view.” While, this may not fit the definition of elitism; hopefully, you will consider attending and contributing your unique perspective as well.

  2. Lucinda says:

    This letter endorses the “open public hearing” on April11th followed by the “public vote” on April 13th specifically to promote broad deliberation and dialog that includes “all points of view.” While, this may not fit the definition of elitism; hopefully, you will consider attending and contributing your unique perspective as well.

  3. MK says:

    Speaking for the younger gen: it’s people like you, dear Lucinda, that make us not want to stay in, or come back to New Marlborough. Trust me, the only people who have ever considered NM as a “diamond in the rough” are the same archaic group of Metathesiophobes that clapped this board member you so passive aggressively mention, into silence like a bunch of hyeanas. I agree with Marc and James, this is getting boring.

  4. Lauri says:

    An undeveloped town like New Marlborough does not grow successfully without careful thought and due diligence. A moratorium will allow time for New Marlborough to plan its future as opposed to merely letting the future happen, possibly punctuated by a big “oops!” Anyone who wants to broaden the tax base without considering implications of the marijuana industry is foolish. Special permits will not be granted without careful consideration of a host of potential detriments to our land, water, air, wildlife, and future costs to the town. Can we make New Marlborough open for business without increasing municipal services? Absolutely not. Speaking of “boring,” I am tired of hearing people say they are against a moratorium, and willing to transform the town at any cost, and without doing any research of their own. From the comments, I see the undertone is (once again) “us” versus “them.” That did not get this town anywhere a hundred years ago, and it will not do so today. Thank you, Lucinda, for being a diligent researcher and for standing up for our town and all its residents.

  5. Lucinda says:

    I would like to thank all of the respondents as your comments have been extraordinarily helpful in illustrating the stark contrast between a no vote and a yes vote on the moratorium. They make it crystal clear for the reader to envision their future under each scenario.

  6. Sara says:

    New Marlborough, the town with a brain in its head that wants to keep it that way.

  7. Lucinda Shmulsky says:

    April 13th 2018 just might go down in the history books as one of New Marlborough’s finest hours. Why, because the Moderator of the Special Town Meeting reminded the citizens as they entered the Halls of Democracy: they were now “Legislators.” The legislators took democracy by the hand and with No-Holds-Barred they delivered a resounding verdict: “Yes, we want a Temporary Moratorium on Marijuana Establishments.” The gavel came down quickly on the side of commonsense; the voters did not equivocate.

    When the citizens of New Marlborough are asked to stand and deliver; they never let you down. When you put democracy directly in their hands they will always render the best verdict, because their lives are built on the New England tradition of hard work and commonsense.

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