'Tis a silly tiff over a table.

COLUMN: In our opinion; editorial footnote

A recent addition to the Sturbridge Common isn't for the faint of heart.

A picnic table, of all the confounded contraptions, made of - gasp - green-enameled meshed steel, and costing $800, was put there by the town's Recreation Committee.

Pass the porridge and the cranberry-nut bread? Nay, pass the smelling salts to the town's Historical Commission chairman.

"The Common has been around since 1738 and there has never been a need for picnic tables so far," Brian D. Burns said.

He's not the only one feeling persnickety about the modern public's picnicking op. Former Town Administrator James J. Malloy, who recently left the post to become Westboro's town manager, said, "I think that putting cheap picnic tables on the Town Common is totally inconsistent with the historic atmosphere on the Town Common."

Recreation Coordinator Lynne Girouard said an anonymous donor paid for the picnic table, to replace a wooden one that disappeared a couple of years ago. She said she didn't seek the town administrator's approval because she didn't think she had to, given that it was a replacement item.

That's sensible, but since the Common is...

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