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Stockbridge Conservation Commission Legislation Passes
February 22, 2010

Downing, Pignatelli shepherd local policy initiative to Governor’s desk
 
BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and State Representative Wm. “Smitty” Pignatelli (D- Lenox) announce that the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate passed
H. 4191 – An Act Relative to the Membership of the Conservation Commission of the Town of Stockbridge during informal legislative sessions this morning.
 
The legislation, a home rule petition sponsored jointly by Downing and Pignatelli on behalf of the Town, was approved by Stockbridge voters during the May 18, 2009 Town Meeting. It authorizes the Board of Selectmen to appoint two alternate members to the Town’s Conservation Commission. The alternate members will serve staggered terms of not more than three years. 
 
“Passage of this legislation allows the Stockbridge Conservation Commission, like the Zoning Board of Appeals, to continue its work with alternate members, thereby ensuring continuity and efficiency regarding its work and mission,” noted Downing. 
 
“The Stockbridge Conservation Commission plays a vital role in the governing of the Town and this bill will enable it to continue to do so.  I am very pleased that we were able to get this legislation passed before the end of the session and ensure that the Commission will be able to perform its duties without interruption,” said Pignatelli.
 
Currently six members serve on the Stockbridge Conservation Commission, which is the agency charged with the protection of the community's natural resources. The Commission also advises other municipal officials and boards on conservation issues that relate to their areas of responsibility.
 
In his written testimony to the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, Stockbridge Conservation Commission Chairman Stephen A. Shatz noted that the Conservation Commission often finds itself without a required quorum, thereby halting business and denying service to residents. Like other voluntary boards and commissions, the Stockbridge Conservation Commission faces scheduling problems of its members, who often juggle competing professional, personal and voluntary commitments and calendar conflicts. 
 
The legislation is now on the Governor’s desk for his final approval; he has ten days to review and act on the matter.
 
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