Letter: Winters Right Decision for Williamstown Planning Board

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To the Editor:

This Tuesday, May 9, is election day in Williamstown. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Williamstown Elementary School. There is only one contested election this year, a five-year seat on Williamstown's Planning Board.

Contested elections in small towns are tricky things. Candidates often end up running against a neighbor or acquaintance and things can sometimes get uncomfortable. However, elections have consequences. We must approach them as dispassionately as possible, to make sure we make the right decision.

For Planning Board, the right decision is Chris Winters. Chris has served on the Planning Board for 11 years and we're delighted that someone with such deep experience is willing to serve another term. Chris has worked hard to advance the objectives in our town's Master Plan while remaining well-grounded by an understanding of the challenges our town faces. These challenges include expanding economic opportunity, preserving our rural character, creating diverse housing options, keeping taxes affordable, maintaining top-notch schools, and great public services.

Balancing these goals requires evaluating trade-offs. Chris brings a rational approach and balanced perspective to issues that come before the Planning Board. He is pragmatic, thoughtful, and attentive to the needs of all Williamstown's residents.

By definition, the Planning board is concerned about the future of Williamstown. That future will be determined by the rules and regulations we put in place. Smart and flexible planning will bring more opportunity to Williamstown. Chris has the experience and the vision Williamstown needs to plan for a brighter future.

Please vote for Chris Winters on Tuesday, May 9, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Williamstown Elementary School.

Jeffrey Thomas
Hugh Daley
Williamstown, Mass.




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New Williams Inn Opens on Spring Street

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Chef Kevin DeMarco has put together a menu informed by local produce. He is part of leadership team appointed by Waterford Hotel Group, which manages the hotel for Williams College.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The new Williams Inn is positioned to be a catalyst for the town's retail center on Spring Street as well as a bucolic retreat for guests — as exampled by the deer grazing near the patio this week.  
"We really want to be an indoor/outdoor experience," said Kevin Hurley, the inn's general manager, during a press preview just days before the hotel's opening on Thursday. "We will see a lot of those features, again with the windows, and just the way the hotel feels is really connecting ourselves to the outside." 
The $32 million, 64-room hotel at the bottom of Spring and Latham streets replaces the 100-room original hotel at Field Park that closed on July 31. The older inn, purchased by Williams College in 2014, was considered outdated and energy inefficient for an institution that's committed itself to sustainability. 
That commitment can be seen throughout the 58,000 square-foot three-story New England-style structure — from its reclaimed wood to its high-performance facade and solar PV array. 
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