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Stafford Hill Monument that was dedicated in 1927 to Col. Joab Stafford, a town founder wounded at the Battle of Bennington and based on the Newport (R.I.) Tower. Cheshire will mark its 225th anniversary next year.

Cheshire Making Plans to Celebrate 225th Founding Anniversary

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — With the town's 225 anniversary around the corner, the Selectmen are seeking community input for possible festivities.
 
The town will celebrate its bicenquasquigenary this coming March and already a group of citizens is forming to plan multiple events.
 
"We would like to initiate a committee being formed and we already have a bunch of people interested," resident Justin Kruszyna told the Selectmen on Tuesday. "It's up to you guys but we brain stormed about our events and everything we would like to do and help and assist."
 
Kruszyna said a group of residents, who have organized events such as the Cruise Night, the Cheshire Cheese Fest and block parties, gathered earlier this month and agreed that they would like to have multiple events throughout next year.
 
"In our little brain storming session, we were looking at smaller individual things," resident Barry Emery said. "Maybe a concert one month, something else the next month and I think we came up with about half a dozen ideas." 
 
Before officially forming a committee, the Selectmen thought it might be beneficial to see if there is any more interest in the community.
 
Kruszyna said the group is holding another brain-storming session on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall annex.
 
"We want to put it out there and if anyone else is interested, they are more than welcome to join us," he said. "It is coming up quick. Seven months is March." 
 
The town was incorporated in 1793, nearly three decades after it was first settled by largely Rhode Islanders as the "New Providence Purchase." The town was nearly called Vernum but at the last, the name Cheshire was determined upon. 
 
In other business, Chairman Robert Ciskowski said he wanted to tighten up the selectmen's meeting agendas and possibly hold meetings solely focused on town business. 
 
"Every year it seems like we run out of time doing the budget ... because we try to take care of the needs of the public on a walk-in basis," he said. "As an officer of a $5 million business, I feel like I am taking care of pot holes or animal complaints and I am not sure if I am giving enough time towards long-term planning."   
 
Normally the selectmen field residents' concerns as they walk, pausing the meeting, and sometimes meetings run as late as 9 p.m.
 
Selectman Edmund St. John IV suggested holding informal workshop meetings every other week during which residents can freely speak and hold business meetings on the other Tuesdays that will adhere more strongly to an agenda. Open Meeting Law requires boards stick to discussing only agenda items except in limited cases. 
 
"I like that idea," he said. "I think it would make formal meetings more effective." 
 
Ciskowski added that he wants to extend this organization to other departments and boards to improve communication in Town Hall. He said it may be beneficial to schedule meetings with other departments and boards.
 
"Maybe not meet with entire boards ... but possibly invite the chairman in for five minutes to touch base," he said. "We may all be in Town Hall but sometimes we just don't communicate." 

Tags: anniversary,   historical event,   

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