Marion spending too much, not getting enough in return

Sep 3, 2018

To the Editor:

Every parent has explained the differences between “need” and “want.” I am not sure it is very different for a town government.

In Marion, the lists of “needs” and “wants” collide frequently. In large part, this conflict is caused by the disparate visions of various town committees that simply do not work together or in concert toward the common needs of the town.

The wasted or lost time and energy is difficult to calculate, but here is a sobering thought - The Town of Marion spends a little more than $94,000 in every business day of a calendar year.  

It seems a little excessive for a town with fewer than 2,700 homes (of which 30 percent are seasonal used).   

There is a lot that is needed here: fix the roads, fix up the town house, restore lost services, improve services that don’t work well. Add to that things we want: an extensive town house renovation, bike paths, a safer and less hazardous Point road, etc, etc.

Sadly, the individual town committees do not communicate well and sometimes not at all. This is particularly disappointing given our habit of allowing individual citizens to sit on multiple boards. The collateral result must add to the operating costs for the town. How can it not?

As a Planning Board member I am frequently disappointed (but no longer surprised) when we as a town forward flawed and untested motions, articles, and bylaws to the citizens. I implore the disparate committees to come together under one tent, or pull the rope in one direction - what ever 2 cent management term you prefer to use.

As is, we spend far too much and receive far too little.

Chris Collings