Editorial: A short term
Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:
Dateline the state: Sen. William “Mo” Cowan, D-Mass., delivered his farewell speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate last week. Appointed to the seat by Gov. Deval Patrick after John Kerry resigned, Cowan’s senatorial term comes to an end with the election of Edward Markey. Given Cowan’s remarks, we’d say residents of the state probably would have liked to have known him better. The speech was thoughtful, sincere and at times funny. A sense of humor is definitely something that’s needed more in Congress, along with some humility.
Dateline Monroe: We recognize that wind farms are a sensitive subject for some people, made even more so by where they are erected. But we do think many Monroe residents are happy that the town is receiving $108,000 per year for the next 20 years from the Hoosac Wind Power Project. The money actually is “payment in lieu of taxes” as part of the agreement for the nine windmills on top of Crum Hill. The payments “will give us extra money when we do need things that we don’t have to raise through taxation,” said Marcella Stafford-Gore, who is the tax collector. We would also think that it is money that could go to an emergency “rainy day” fund.
Dateline Orange: Fiscal matters are never easy for a community. But we would like to think that there is an understanding that whether you raise taxes or cut the budget, the moves all have consequences. Therefore, care should be especially taken when reducing funding for services such as ambulance service. In an emergency, people don’t want to hear about cost effectiveness or cutbacks, they simply want timely and reliable service, especially where minutes can literally make the difference between life and death.
Dateline Northfield: We think it would be a plus if the C.S. Lewis Foundation is able to take ownership of Green Pastures, the 14-room Victorian on Main Street that is still owned by Northfield Mount Hermon School. If the foundation is able to buy the building, it plans to use it as a place to house resident writers and scholars as well as events like meetings and conferences. It’s obvious that even though the foundation failed in its effort to establish a college on the former NMH campus, it was charmed by the community and wants to be part of it. That says a lot.