Monday, May 21, 2012

Planning Piffle

Cassandra Acly
Back in January The O’Zone addressed the vapid nonsense of the hyping of the most recently announced round of Master Planning for the town.

The article cited references to the last round of this exercise in mental masturbation financed by state grants (i.e. tax dollars) to justify the continued existence of the town’s Planning and Economic Development Department that has grown from one person 12 years ago to four now.

On Saturday Go Local Worcester ran an article titled “The Fastest Growing Communities in Central Mass”. 

The article contained the following remarks:
Just as Worcester is doing a housing market analysis, other communities have had a chance to catch their breath and think of how they want to grow as housing development starts to pick up. In Southbridge, Economic Development and Planning Director Cassandra Acly said proper planning is essential.
“We’re doing our master plan this year,” Acly said. “We’ve put off making a lot of decisions regarding housing so we can include it in our master plan. You can’t just plan for housing. You have to plan everything.”
That, she said, might include looking at zoning regulations and saying, “Gee, during the last boom we realized we don’t have the right zoning here. Master planning is designed to just that.”

As anyone who has participated in a planning process yielding concrete results, as I have in the corporate environment, knows, it is a data driven exercise. One of the key elements of a community master plan has to do with housing construction and related matters. In this respect, it is interesting to note a collection of data on new housing presented in the above article from Go  Local Worcester.

Why is all the data for the town of Southbridge (except for one year) not available? Is that any foundation for a meaningful planning process?


  1. What Sandy Acly needs to explain is how she dedicated all her time to getting $1,000,000 in grants for one group of developers who all declared bankruptcy within a year of receiving the funds (think 12 Crane). How has this not been investigated? She is unqualified and nothing is gonna change here until we get someone serious. And no, Sandy, Ballroom Dancing for youth at the YMCA is not the answer, nor is it the "in-thing" unless your over 75 and receiving assisted living. Please hire a real economic development person and stop the charade!

  2. aka Jester

    Where’s the “Tent City” being planned?

  3. That is because Sandy is useless as T-ON-B. Wish she would retire...

    1. You people stop beating on Sandy. she and mr livingood along with ms clemonce and larry sinelli have done all they could for downtown look how nice it looks with the pictures in the store fronts, that they are trying to fill and what about that church mr livingood got to come in in the old vidio store now thats a real christian man shame on you people denuse even got her husband bob to pay for those pictures in the windows and i bet the werent cheap!they didnt spare anything!

  4. How do we get a conversation going on removing the Department of Transitional Assistance from this town?

    In my opinion, any new Master Plan should include this as a priority.

    As I recall removing that office from Southbridge was strongly suggested in the last Master Plan of 8 or 9 years ago. Whatever happened to that?

    What are your thoughts Ken?

    Would love to hear what you and other people have to say about it...

    I think that people in town hall need to have their vision corrected with regard to a new Master Plan.

    If they are going to spend time and money on ANOTHER master plan--shouldn't they be made to follow it?

    This is where we have to help them because they are failing.

    Suggestions of beautifying the "Town Centre" and vague notions of how to turn a mill town around are all we have coming from town hall offices. I've heard the same uninspired story from them for over five years.

    We have trusted that they know how to do their jobs. We've been mistaken and misled. We need to right this situation.


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