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Editorial: Up to the towns

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Dateline Deerfield, Sunderland and Whately: Having residents of the three individual towns decide whether they want to be part of a regional EMT/ambulance service is probably the best way for the decision to be made. The goal behind the move is to improve upon response time to emergency calls. But there are other factors, including cost, that are part of the equation. Therefore, residents should be entrusted to weigh all of the factors to determine whether this approach is the right fit for their individual community. Voting will likely take place in the fall and we would like to think that turnout for such a vote will be high given the crucial nature of the service and the plans to handle such.

Dateline the region: We realize we recently may have thought some of the temperatures were too cool for May. After all, we really don’t want to have the furnace running. But that doesn’t mean we were quite ready to ditch spring and jump right into summer. The past couple of days with temperatures in the high 80s and 90s with humidity were more reminiscent of July and early August rather than late May. Thankfully, the forecast for the week is for more seasonable temps.

Dateline Northfield: We do hope that residents in town were listening to the panel brought in to discuss town government. The bottom line was that any form of government is dependent upon the people you have in the seats. And those people in the seats have to be willing to let the people who they hire do their jobs. If residents missed this chance to attend this forum, one put together by the Town Governance Study Committee, another forum is in the works. We would urge residents to attend, it’s a great way to stay informed about town government and possible changes that will have an impact.

Dateline the county: We certainly liked what Richard Davey, the Massachusetts secretary of transportation, had to say at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast recently. Davey talked about the effort under way to have north and south passenger rail service to Greenfield, something that county residents are aware of. “We haven’t talked about bringing it east and west, yet, but we’ll be looking at that.” We think an east/west route, letting people take the train from Greenfield to Boston, is important and hope that Davey just wasn’t giving the idea lip service. It’s something to keep in mind as the state prepares for a gubernatorial race in 2014.

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