The financial implications of any decision made by a government must be taken into consideration above all else. Programs and services for the community are a big part of what any government does, but the elected officials also must remember to ask themselves: what is the cost? Since their job is to serve the community by spending its tax dollars, they must be financially responsible above all else.
The recent discussions about if, and where, the town should move its offices is no exception to this idea. As stated by Councilor Jim Greenfield at a recent meeting: if moving the town offices into the recently renovated village hall makes the most financial sense, they should do it.
However, the issue of money is not as black and white as finding the lowest number. As brought up by Supervisor Mary Sennett, the town may be on the verge of making a decision that officials will be affected by 50 years from now.
It is nearly impossible to forecast what the social, political and economic climate will be in 50 years time, but it is worth attempting to consider factors such as the potential consolidation of the town and village. Selling the current town hall to build a new one would be a sunken cost that the town would need to be absolutely convinced to do, because it could put future boards in a tough position.
Even if the town decides not to move for the time being, it appears they are at a critical juncture with this decision. The board’s job in the coming moths should be to take what they believe to be the most fiscally responsible course.