Thursday, June 03, 2010

Williamstown: WilliNet airs new segment on the Future of Williamstown

Juliana Haubrich <> writes:

On April 14th, Williamstown's public
access television station, WilliNet,
recorded a new and innovative edition of Citizens in League, a monthly
program sponsored by the Williamstown League of Women Voters. The segment
was created as "a conversation about the economic future of
Williamstown," and as a way to answer the many concerns about the changes
being seen on Spring Street, Williamstown's main comercial hub. For
example, McClellan's Stationary store closed, Helen's Place closed, Zanna's
clothing store closed, and the historic Hart's Pharmacy was sold to new
owners and no longer fills prescriptions. These, and other troubling
changes, have provoked a lot of conversations between citizens on the
street, in the libraries, at public meetings, and in our local coffee
shops. Citizens are concerned about the economic stress our town appears to
be facing.

The League of Women Voters recently had the advantage of hearing Peter
Fohlin, Williamstown's Town Manager, give a talk about the prognosis for
Williamstown. The League and WilliNet began to wonder if similar
conversations were taking place at Town Hall, Williams College and the
Williamstown Chamber of Commerce. In an effort to better understand the
town's situation and to inform the public, WilliNet and Citizens in
League invited representatives from those three organizations to take part
in a panel discussion on the economic future of Williamstown. Jim Kolesar,
Assistant to the President for Public Affairs at Williams College, Steve
Klass, Vice-President for Operations at Williams, Chamber of Commerce
Co-Presidents, Bonnie Clark, also the Physician Liason at Northern Berkshire
Healthcare, and Mary Morrow, VP of Retail Banking for Hoosac Bank &
Williamstown Savings Bank, Town Manager Peter Fohlin, and Williamstown
Planning Board member Dick DeMayo, all accepted the invitation to discuss
this challenging issue from their group's perspective.

To see the results of this dynamic discussion, go to and
click on Watch!, or tune in to WilliNet, Monday, June 14th, at 9 pm,
on Channel 16, to see the show on cable TV. For more information you can
call WilliNet at 413-458-0900.


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