Vol. I No. 09 12/1/2020
The Birth of Stockbridge Updates
Readers asked about the genesis of Stockbridge Updates, and we are pleased to answer.
The birth of Stockbridge Updates: January 2020, in a pre-COVID world, a group of friends and neighbors met at my house. The discussion was wide-ranging. Toward the end, I suggested we create a newsletter.
The goal of this newsletter: Stockbridge government remains nearest to pure democracy. That means at elections, town meeting and special town meetings, the people decide. Therefore, nothing is more important than an informed electorate. The goal of the newsletter would be to inform Stockbridge voters.
The first step: At the January get together, I asked if anyone was interested in working on a newsletter. There was some interest, a small group met a couple of times, but in the end, I found I was going forward alone. I approached a number of Stockbridge folks about sharing their knowledge by writing a column from time to time. Among them was Patrick White.
The next step: Patrick said he too wanted a newsletter. He suggested a name, Stockbridge Updates, and he had a goal– transparency in government. His goal was close enough to mine to make it workable. We agreed to go forward together.
What actually happened next: Patrick won election to the Stockbridge Select Board. Being a selectman limited his time and what he could say. Therefore, we determined that Patrick should have no role in editorial decisions, limiting his contribution to donating his tech and web design skills. He built a custom content management system for Stockbridge Updates and designed the template for the website and emails, providing an automated way of producing each issue. Patrick sometimes contributes information and ideas, and he writes a column whenever he feels he has something important to say.
Unless otherwise attributed, I do the writing. Guest writers, identified by byline, add immeasurably to every issue. I am managing editor and Lenore Sundberg is the SU line editor.
Patrick finds or takes photos and creates videos as do I and other contributors.
Payment: I received emails recommending payment via membership fee or subscription. I am grateful readers think SU is worthwhile. However, this is a volunteer effort. I do it because I think it is a good thing to do. I believe in the goal. That is equally true for the contributors, Lenore, and Patrick. If that ever changes, and any of us receive any material compensation, SU readers will be the first to know.