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We should be thanking our Stockbridge Finance Committee members, not denigrating them

The Stockbridge Finance Committee is composed of fine, community-oriented citizens who volunteer their time and their accumulated years of financial-management skill to ensure that our community is and will remain financially viable for decades to come.

To the editor:

I write to respond to the letter from my fellow Stockbridge Select Board member that was posted on April 23, 2024. Unlike my colleague, I do not intend to litigate here in the press the business of the Stockbridge Select Board and its advisory Finance Committee. The place and time to do that is Town Hall, at the properly convened meetings of the Select Board and the Finance Committee. My purpose for writing is instead to acknowledge the hard work and the prudent and sage advice that our Finance Committee has provided to our town administration, which is in large measure why the town of Stockbridge ranks enviably high on the charts of fiscally sound municipalities across the state.

The Stockbridge Finance Committee is composed of fine, community-oriented citizens who volunteer their time and their accumulated years of financial-management skill to ensure that our community is and will remain financially viable for decades to come. I personally sat through all of the Finance Committee’s budget meetings and deliberations during the past two years in my capacity as a Select Board member (my colleague cannot make that claim), and I can attest to the professionalism, sincerity, and deliberation that each and every member of the committee has demonstrated toward the single goal of ensuring that our fine town can and will operate as needed to support all of the town’s stakeholders now and for years to come. The decision not to cut back on funding the town’s future retirement obligations is at the heart of that future-looking decision making. Indeed, we know all too well the stories of municipalities and businesses with unfunded and underfunded pension liabilities. Those stories are bleak, particularly when the time comes that funds are needed to replace and repair failing infrastructure and the cost of borrowing becomes overwhelming due to the municipality’s accumulated debt. The people of the town of Stockbridge sent a clear, unambiguous message when they voted on the warrant to fund fully the town’s future retirement liabilities, and the Finance Committee has carried that mandate forward. Rather than denigrate and be critical of our Finance Committee members, I submit that they should be thanked for their service, foresight, and prudence.

Jamie Minacci
Stockbridge Select Board Member

EDITOR’S NOTE: The author is a member of the Stockbridge Select Board.

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