We received this letter from Clarksburg Selectman Carl McKinney on the recent break-ins. Rather than just post it in our letters section, or on the multiple stories we decided to post it here with links back to it.
First and foremost, I would like to both express my sympathy and empathy to those folks whose homes were violated and robbed. I know from first hand the feeling. In 1976, we were robbed. Clarksburg really didn't have a Police Department; we had a constable and deputy. They did the best they could. But my Father did not go down to the Selectmen and blame them. Things happen. And society is changing.
The Clarksburg Police Department has been working on these cases tirelessly, and I know Chief Mike [Willliams] has been putting in 16 hour days. Thank God he's on salary. I know he has been in contact with the district attorney, the Massachusetts State Police Crime Unit, the Berkshire County Drug Task Force and neighboring community police
departments. This is how it is either going to be solved…or not. There are no guarantees, and throwing money at the problem will not necessarily result in a different outcome.
I applaud the creation of Crime Watch Units. When we had a B&E last spring in the East and Daniels roads area, many people came to complain. The Chief offered to assist them with the creation of a Crime Watch. After the break-in was settled, that was it - no more communication, no interest, and that's where it was left. If a community watch is to be successful, it will require determination, co-operation, co-ordination and communication…for the long haul;.
Much has been made and said about the furloughs. We had to cut 5 percent in that area of the budget. We had 3 options: A) Institute major layoffs (as it was we eliminated a Library Aide). B) Cut all Town Employee wages 5 percent and make them work the full 52 weeks; or C) Furlough the employees and keep their jobs intact, their salaries and benefits intact. We chose C.
Over the last seven years, the School Budget has increased on an average of $67,000 per year. The Town side of the budget has gone down over those seven years, hitting a low of $790,000 (from $1,000,000) a 21 percent reduction ... gradually going up to $990,000 last year, and reduced to $919,000 this year. We are still able to provide good services on a reduced funding schedule.
Much ill-informed diatribe has also been spewed about the "high taxes" in Clarksburg. That's HOGWASH. Clarksburg has the fourth lowest tax burden per household in all of Berkshire County. And we are between a quarter or a third of the property taxes they pay in Vermont, New York AND New Hampshire.
The lowest tax town is Hancock. But they have ski resorts, and TIME SHARE CONDOS. Those folks pay taxes on those condos but do not use the school system. Next is Florida. They have $90 MILLION in commercial tax base for the
hydroelectric generating facilities within their boarders.
Next is Egremont (I believe, don't hold me to it), and I do not know what their deal is, nd then there is Clarksburg. And all we have is each other. We have no grand taxing ability. Although the Town of Clarksburg could raise taxes 35 percent and not even hit Proposition 2 1/2. We choose not to; 30 percent of our homeowners are elderly folks living on fixed incomes. I know for a fact that there are elderly folks living in cold houses, and using public food security programs to survive. A dollar or two on the tax rate means a lot to those folks.
I do not think throwing money at every problem is the answer. And even if we wanted to throw more money at it…we would have to have a Town Meeting. How many of you even attended this spring's Town Meeting? Did you standup and request more money from your neighbors for the Police Department? I do not recall anyone doing that. Yet you want to hijack the town government, with a pistol and an attitude, and think you can do better. I don't think so. Let the Police do their job.
Carl W. McKinney
Clarksburg Selectmen Member
P.S. I do not post anonymously. When I write something I sign it with my name. You people hiding behind your keyboard and anonymously spreading fear, and anxiety, and misinformation…and sometimes outright lies sickens me.
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Your quote from above: When we had a B&E last spring in the East and Daniels roads area, many people came to complain. The Chief offered to assist them with the creation of a Crime Watch. After the break-in was settled, that was it - no more communication, no interest, and that's where it was left.
What does that mean? Settled? Was there a person arrested and convicted? I overheard a person talking outside the meeting Wednesday and he sure didn't sound like it was "settled"
well please let me know if the break-in was settled as we have never heard if it has and we were broken into yes indeed people went to the clarksburg meeting to complain as you put it but could not get enough interested to start a crime watch but know that it is happening to them we can. Please mr. mckenny if you know more than the victims of these break-ins please let us all know.
Okay, not sure where to begin with this, however let me first say that we respect the work of law enforcement and local governments. They do the best they can with what they have to work with.
Second, Taxes. Yes taxes in Clarksburg are high. High for services rendered. What do we get? The school, plow the roads and a 1 full-time Police officer and 6 part-timers (when the positions are filled). Plus, when you are talking about where we rank, are you adding in the sewer and water user fees which are now over $500/year? That sure is a tax to me. I also wouldn't include New Hampshire in any statistics as we all know there are no state income taxes in NH and the tax base works off property taxes.
Town Budget through its high and lows it is currently down just over 8%, not nearly the fear and anxiety number of 21% that you quote. Last year it was down 1% from its high. Again not alarming for the services provided.
The Lies being spread. What exactly are they???
- That the Lenox person has not been charged in all the Clarksburg break-ins?
- That the Lenox arrest doesn't match the description of all of the Clarksburg break-ins?
- That the Stamford Selectmen held a special meeting to discuss ways of informing the townspeople of what was happening in their town?
- That 3 Stamford selectmen attended the Stamford/Clarksburg Community Watch Meeting and participated?
- That a person who matched the description of some of the Clarksburg break-ins has been reported to police recently?
- That the Lenox guy has yet to officially be charged for Clarksburg break-ins?
- That when we have a rash of crime in town we need State Police support?
- That townspeople are concerned over lack of an arrest & conviction for previous break-ins?
- That people are concerned about the response time for 911 calls?
- That people feel increased patrols would be a better deterrent at this time than speed traps?
- That many people who were broken into within the last 18 months went to Lenox to review evidence and found nothing?
- That people are concerned about leaving their houses unoccupied, even during the day?
Enough with the listsâ€¦..
Perhaps the selectmen are feeling that they are the target here. That is not true. Perhaps they misunderstood why so many people attended the meeting Wednesday. We know and appreciate the incredible effort by Chief Williams, there is no question about it. The citizens were not asking for the selectmen to go solve the break-ins. We were also not asking for deputy badges and guns. All that we were asking for is better communication from town officials and help for our understaffed and overworked police force. Given the situation, that seems reasonable.
Happy Holidays to you and everyone else, including the Clarksburglar.
Kudos Carl. I have a great idea that will shut people up. Can you post a list of the town break-ins over the last three years and next to list the summary how the cases we settled. How many had arrests and convictions and how many are still open. That might show these big mouths who keep posting we don't solve crimes up here.
It should be recognized how much work Tammy from IBerkshires.com has done for this community. She not only covered the recent stories where we suffered 4 break-ins in a 10 day span, she has also shown up to the Stamford Town Selectman's meeting with State Police (11/1), the first Crime Watch Meeting (11/14) and the Clarksburg Town Selectman's meeting (11/18). She is doing her part in giving the community much needed information.
Even more so, she has helped create this Berkshire County Crime Section for the residents to stay informed.
Thank you Tammy! Keep up the good work.
Everyone keeps forgetting about the "girlfried" in this case. She is a originally from Clarksburg and reportedly has a bad drug habit. Just because she is singing like a bird doesn't mean she shouldn't go away for a very long time. The only reason she's talking is so her kid isn't taken away, which would be the best thing for her. Can you imagine, this former Clarksburg resident preying on her former neighbors and family, just terrible. Lock her up with him and throw away the key.
I agree with Celtics Fan. How awful is it that she came back to her home town to rob people and invade their homes?
I think the only thing worse is knowing that there is ONE MORE GUY on foot that has still not been arrested who is responsible for the other recent break ins. That thought is MUCH WORSE.
The only thought worse than that is since he is on foot he must also live somewhere around here... Clarksburg? Among us perhaps? Yes, that is worse. He probably walks by everyday. And to know the woods and how to get around: you (1) - donâ€™t have a car or (2) grew up here. Thank you Clarksburgalar- we appreciate your local business!
Ok, someone said for me to save the date of December 5th. I will mark my calendar and wait for more announcements on the meeting. The least I can do is give the flyers from the next Community Watch Meeting to my immediate neighbors. Everyone else should be thinking of this too with the holidays coming and all.
I'm going to step in at the risk of having my head chopped off for not joining the lynch mob. But I can't read all this much longer with out putting in my 2 cents.
As the Selectman said above there is a degree of fear-mongering going on here. Yes, I have been keeping my doors locked and telling my dog to keep his teeth sharpened and have been more aware of late, but I believe Veremko is responsible for the most recent rash of burglaries. Items were identified form the break-in in Stamford also Readsboro, and others in VT and Clarksburg. It's possible he sold other items...
Yes, I saw the guy walking down Middle Rd with a suitcase and a girl. I did a double take, but c'mon can't you walk down a road with a suitcase? Maybe they have no car, they were going somewhere. Plus, he had a grey hoodie open with a funky yellow shirt and did not match any description of slumpy, baggy, punk kid in a black hoodie. He also did not exude guilt. That is profiling and lynch mob mentality. You also cannot count burglaries that happened 18 months ago, 2 years ago. They are not part of the equation. Also the fact that Miss Malloy is from Clarksburg indicates that he was the one, she helped him out with the lay of the land and where to go. Don't forget the silver car with the girl inside that was one of the vehicles to look out for. He had a silver car, and she was the driver. I do agree that just because she's singing does not mean she should not be charged, she is as guilty as he.
If I'm wrong I'll be the first to admit it. Give law enforcement more credit!!! I think some of you are ticked off that someone in Lenox nabbed him and not you, so you keep looking for a new suspect.
I do applaud the dedication of everyone in this matter, everyone has banded together for the community, and yes the community does need a crime watch and also be more aware of what goes on in the community.
Hey Optimist, I just want to point out that you did NOT attend the Town Selectman's Meeting where Officer Williams spoke about the break ins. Otherwise you wouldnt be so quick to assume that we are all paranoid and THE GUY was already arrested. You do not have ANY facts. You do not even know what you are talking about. The rest of us that have been keeping informed do not appreciate your random assumptions and name calling. Get yourself to a meeting or call your local police because you wasted space complaining on this blog where concerned citizens could ask questions and provide information.
Important Update: There is a report that Elvis has left the building. The "Suspicious Fellow" reportedly has left town. God help them wherever he lands. Good riddence Clarksburglar....for now. If and when you come back, we will know and we'll be ready and waiting for you.
No response from Carl?
We have all been patiently waiting.
I too would like to see the list of break-ins and know what "settled" means. That does not appear to be the same as solved. Does settled mean forgotten??? Does settled mean the owner gave up on the police and just got thier insurance money? What does settled mean? Did you have a suspect and let him go? Did you make an arrest. I have been counting each break-in told to me by neighbors ... as of the summer I have over 10 in Stamford and Clarksburg. The guy arrested is only being charged with 3 so far..... what is the deal?
If the person responsible for the break-ins has any brains, they will quit now and let everyone think the Lenox crook was the person responsible since the break-in would end at the same time as that person was arrested.
Somebody, please run against this guy and use that letter as a campaign tool. It shows his deep disrespect for the residents of your town, and his "holier than thou" attitude is something you don't have to put up with.
..."you want to hijack the town government, with a pistol and an attitude, and think you can do better. I don't think so." That's a real nice way to talk to your constituents.
Somebody, run against him, and the rest of the board as well. Your town needs leadership, not attitudes.
Wow. Well said. It did appear like he had no sympathy for victims. That concerned me. He simply complained about our complaining. I would like to see them help this town get the news out. Another strange thing happened last night. A car alarm and outside light went off at a house in town. (and its never happened before) How about the town send letters that a Neighborhood Watch is in effect due to recent events??? That is the lease they could do.
Did anyone notice how Pittsfield and Lenox solve crimes. Lenox got dogs to chase and find a person. Pittsfield is using DNA testing......
The Eagle has 2 articles on break-ins. We have had 18 days of no breakins up here. Good job Stamford and Clarksburg. Keep watching these creeps and report them to us via email.
I still think the town should send out notices with the next tax bill. That is the least LEAST LEASTTTT they could do for all the taxpayers in Clarksburg that they represent. Does anyone else think so?
I hope everyone got the email alert about the car at the bus stop and the daughter running up the driveway to her mom yelling??? And the car driving off???
Come to the meeting. Get on the email list. Report these things to each other. Stay aware. We are helping each other stay safe.
Still no reply from selectman hey?? PSH!
Do you think any of the Clarksburg Selectmen are going to show up this time?? I think it was really ridiculous that none of them came to the last meeting with over 120 residents. What are they representing and why did we vote them in -if they dont even show up for these urgent and serious events?
I think they better show... so many people were upset last time that none of them were there. I have a feeling if there is no representation or interest from them, people are really going to be mad. (just my feeling from all the comments made)I dont even know if these selectmen in Clarksburg are paid or not... I know nothing about what they are supposed to be doing... but I have been hearing alot from concerned residents about it.
Breakin yesterday on East Rd in Clarksburg was confirmed by police. Meeting was a success! 20 seriously concerned members organized the group. Mark your calendar for the next big Neighborhood Watch meeting Sat. Jan 16th at 1PM at the Stamford School.
every one went from the Transcript Topix Forums to I berkshires watch out people even though you have some very good and true statements small town politicks dont want to hear it.Face it look at the new police officers that just got in to the force in N.A.one of them was involved in a accident involving a tractor trailor he was drunk on his but and it was totaly covered up so he could be a cop getting back too Clarkburg he who has the most money wins.And thats a fact