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Editorial: The right approach

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

Dateline Conway: If you’re going to take town officials to task about how they conduct business, then it only makes sense to provide them public acknowledgement when they do what’s right. Selectmen were more open this time around in trying to find a new town administrator, including revealing the names of the two finalists. Such openness is, in our book, good government because it’s good for the community.

And good luck to Thomas Hutcheson, the new town administrator hired to replace the departed Amanda Majewski Winn. He has plenty of experience in government, including the last couple of years as Northfield’s town administrator and sounds like he’ll be a good fit for Conway.

Dateline Whately: We have long been a fan of the large “milk bottle” that stands in front of the old Center School on Chestnut Plain Road. It’s one of those unique landmarks where your eyes never fail to drink it all in. It’s good news, then, that the bottle has been refurbished, thanks to the efforts of the Whately Historical Society. The concrete bottle was scraped down, cleaned and repainted. As Adelia Bardwell, president of the historical society put it, “The milk bottle is a symbol of Whately. We need to keep it in tip-top shape.” We couldn’t agree more.

Dateline the region: The rerouting of the former MM&M Trail, now called the New England National Scenic Trail, sounds like a win-win for all involved. Twenty-two miles of the trail that once ran through property owned by W.D. Cowls now will go through state Department of Conservation and Recreation land. The rerouting will allow the trail to hold its federal designation, with its associated protections. And W.D. Cowls won’t have to worry that the federal designation of land it owns in several county towns would impinge on its business. The bottom line here is that there is a 200-plus-mile trail that is open and available to all.

Dateline Turners Falls: We’re glad that the Turners Falls Block Party is on track for its early August date. Selectmen recently gave their OK for having the event use the town’s insurance coverage, something that came into question because the town doesn’t have an official connection with those in charge this year. Given the popularity of this event, both among residents and others, town government should find a way to be a partner and take worries and costs associated with insurance for such an event out of the equation.

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