February 21, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 7

Spending decisions make no sense

Something is wrong. We hire a borough manager for $108,000 – who has repeatedly changed his mind about whether he wants to stay or leave (and even interviewed for another job recently) and give him a possible total of up to 59 paid days off a year as well. Perhaps that is why we then had to hire an executive assistant to the manager last July at a cost of $81,000 a year. Now, we have paid the executive assistant and an assembly member to attend a conference in Vancouver, B.C.

 We have a police chief who declines to follow up on investigations – even one where the borough’s harbormaster was allegedly assaulted.

 We agree to pay $50,000 for a device to hang a $15,000 wrestling mat, rather than lean it against a wall. To pay $35,000 for a card-lock system for school doors to replace keys that have always worked until now.

 We paid $22,000 to make a beautiful, newly designed, light-filled art room into administrative offices, rather than put a desk out in the hall to monitor students. We paid another $26,000 to make a windowless, former woodshop room into an art room. Now, we may have to pay up to $303,000 more to make that room quiet enough for the teacher and students.  

 None of it makes sense. We are a small community with a large number of smart, capable residents. We can do better.

Sharon Resnick