Vol. I No. 02 8/18/2020
Town News: August 15, 2020
Upcoming Select Board Meeting
The Select Board will meet this Thursday at 9 am on August 20. Agenda items include: the new Town website (Tom Sharpe of Mungy Design Studios); lake plant survey results (Professor Tom Coote); proposed repairs to the Soldiers' Monument (Amanda Trienens and the Historical Commission's Peter Williams). You can join the Zoom meeting by visiting the Town website at
Last Week's Select Board Meeting
The agenda for the meeting held on August 13, 2020 included:
Mosquito Control Program
The Mosquito Program generated much discussion. Chris Horton, program supervisor, described the county-wide program which seeks to control the "nuisance" mosquito while making a case for the benefits of the program from a public health perspective.
There was strong opinion against the effort. Arguments included, "It is a nuisance control convenience at the expense of the environment."
It was suggested that the pesticide used also negatively impacts other insects such as butterflies, caterpillars, and dragonflies, and could impact the recovering bat population.
Members of the Board of Health expressed their skepticism about the value of the program from the point of view of public health. Mosquito-borne illnesses are currently at a very low incidence level. Incidences in towns that do not use the program, such as Lee and Lenox, are no different than incidences in Stockbridge. Moreover, Health Department members argued, only a small fraction (around 3%-5%) of the Town's wetlands are actually treated by the service.
Select Board and Board of Health members observed that the program needs more accountability and monitoring, better reporting, and tighter coordination with the Town Highway Department and the Board of Health. That combined oversight would be the basis on which the efficacy of the program could be evaluated.
Selectman Roxanne McCaffrey reviewed the Town's Code Red system at the last Select Board meeting. All residents are encouraged to sign up. Signing up is easy! Just visit www.townofstockbridge.com to enter your information.
Once you are signed up, watch for incoming calls from "ECN" (mobile devices), 855-969-4636 (general announcements) or 866-419-5000 (emergencies) on your caller ID to make sure you don't miss critical messages from the Town.
The Select Board thanked Eric Plakun and his team at Austen Riggs for their generous donation of $16,000 to the Town's PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program. Given the current economic environment, it was impressive to see one of our non-profits stepping up and meeting the moment. The PILOT Committee is headed by Tom Stokes.
Lake Stewardship: The Commission
The Stockbridge Bowl Stewardship Commission (SBSC) was established by the Stockbridge Select Board. Michael Nathan is the chair. Other SBSC members include Charles Kenny, Board of Health, Tom Schuler and Mike Buffoni, Sewer and Water, Jamie Minacci, Conservation Commission, Gary Johnston, Stockbridge Sportsman Club, Gary Kleinerman, Stockbridge Harbormaster, Roxanne McCaffrey, Select Board, and Jim Wilusz, Tri-Town Health.
Its mandate is "to conserve and protect Lake Mahkeenac and its watershed, to enhance the water quality, fishery, wildlife habitat and aesthetics of Lake Mahkeenac as a public recreational facility for today and for future generations while respecting the interests of property owners and the public, providing permanent stewardship to the lake ecosystem."
Its first order of business is to "move forward with the generation of a comprehensive Lake Management Plan."
You can contact the commission at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7:30 a.m.
Boarding on the Bowl! Question: Who can identify this bird? Hint, it's not a goose and not a duck!