Hide and Seek                                                                         4-18-2018

                 Councilman Kevin Smith and I spent the afternoon re-hanging the flags that came down during the windstorm. Hopefully, it will be the last time we have to go out and repair. Mother Nature has NOT been kind to our new flags, and NEXT year, they won't be hung until May 1st !!

                  We are missing two complete sets of poles and flags. One set was at the intersection of Rts. 20 and Old Rt. 20 at the bottom of the mountain. We replaced that with a spare set we had, but still need the original set back to replace the one at 20 and 22 South. Another set is missing from the pole at the entrance to the Valley Plaza by Berkshire Bank. Flag and pole, just GONE.  If you know of anyone who might have picked them up after the storm, please ask them to drop them off at the Town Hall.

                   These sets are fairly expensive, so we would really love to have them all accounted for and re-hung a.s.a.p. Also, if anyone came across a pair of heavy-duty scissors, silver with blue handles, we lost them at one of the poles. They too, can be dropped at the Town Hall. Thank You! Don't forget that you can donate to the Flag Fundraiser at the Town Website. Last year, we raised the funds in 24 hours. THIS year, we are not doing very well, so if you would like to help, please go to the link on the Town website! 

                    It's been an interesting week already with the violent winds and power outages. My husband's F350 truck was literally flattened by a HUGE tree limb and we lost a lot of fencing to half a pine tree that fell on the OTHER side of the yard. The truck is totaled, but the limb missed the Farmer by two minutes and ten feet, so I consider it a win. He actually had the truck running while he fed the wood burner, and was about to get in the truck and go to work. So we have changed his name from Sparky to Timber. 

                     Tonight, we attended the Planning Board meeting and once again, my belief that our government is WAY too big and abusive, was confirmed. Stewarts' representative was there with a sketch plan for the E-Z Mart site. It will be a far better location than their original plan, but parking will still be at a premium. The number of spaces required is decided by the size of the store, and in this case, 30 spaces are necessary. Our ridiculous, Comprehensive Plan states that there should be NO parking in front of businesses, but can you name any businesses that DON'T have front-of-store parking? Geez.

                     So Stewarts plans to have the bulk of the parking on the West side of the store, and by including the gas pump area, it brings their total to the required 30. HowEVER, our Comp. Plan ALSO requires that for every 20 spaces, there must be a "Green" area of trees, grass, and/or flowers. Now, exactly HOW are they supposed to comply with THAT, AND the number of spaces, AND the no front-of-store parking? And we wonder WHY we can't attract new businesses?

                      Then we had the poor guy from County 9 South that wants to add a metal storage building for his paper-shredding business. (The former Polaczinski Tool and Die). He had a basic sketch, but it didn't show the lighting, the "Flow of Traffic", the loading dock location, etc. Um, give the guy a building permit, he is within the setbacks and there are no wetlands or traffic to speak of. No added noise, no plumbing, so let's just simplify and get over it already.

                        Of course, the Mike Darcy saga continues as well. HIS future depends on D.E.C and their interpretation of whether a wet spot is an official wetland or not, and if he needs to provide a 100-foot buffer. To park a couple of trucks in his own yard? Plus, he had to provide a $1500.00 escrow fee for the Town Engineer!!!! It just goes beyond STUPID.  I know that the Zoning and Planning Board members are not to blame, they are simply following the codes and guidelines they are bound to obey. Still, whomever WROTE these guidelines must have helped write the Safe Act, because it makes about as much sense.

                        By the way, the new Stewarts has to have ONE way IN and ONE way OUT, per the D.O.T, which also means that there will be a ton of signs marring the site just like the Library.  So let me get this straight; they must have no parking in front and provide Greenery for aesthetic purposes, but then D.O.T will make it look like crap with a dozen signs? Umm....ok.

                         I still think that this town has an opportunity to be a Pioneer Town and set an example for other, small rural towns. Become INDEPENDENT, and start trashing some of the excessive rules and regulations and use some Common Sense for a change. Let the Zoning and Planning folks use their heads and hearts instead of oppressive requirements. Be willing to give up some government funds in exchange for self-reliance and freedom to do what is best, fairest, and easiest for this town and it's people.

                         As some of you know, our Supervisor wants Solar power for the Town Hall and Town Garage. In order to GET that, the town had to complete three, government-granted, GREEN projects. We had two done, and the beyond silly, electric car chargers will be the third. Wow, what a win! Now we can get yet ANOTHER government grant for Solar, and MORE government control over the town. Why not find a Solar Company that would install that solar on the two town buildings in exchange for posting their company signs for one year and getting news coverage for their work? Or, better yet, let the residents FUND-RAISE and buy their OWN Solar for the town buildings? INDEPENDENCE!  

                         We have some mountains in this town too, so why not attract a Wind power company? We don't NEED government grants and regulations, we need self-sufficiency and freedom to live as we wish without some official looking over our shoulders when we wish to park our own trucks in our own yards. Where does it end? Good Lord.