Granby should keep Downtown Enhancement position
November 10, 2008
To the Editor:
I was concerned to see the town’s economic development budget begins with this note: “2009 position layoff after unable to balance budget. Work to be performed by town manager and committees. Salary, benefit and related savings $80,950.”
It appears that the main street economic coordinator position is being subjected to a layoff. I hope this has been done merely as a way of starting discussion and not as a reflection of the board’s true desires.
However, if it is a reflection of the board’s actual intent, then I would ask the trustees to consider how their main street has changed since the main street coordinator’s position was put in place. I personally had two experiences with the town related directly to the downtown, main street coordinator’s job. In each case that position helped greatly to enhance the appearance of main street businesses while also improving the main street. This, in turn, helps business in general, generating more tax revenue for the town.
I would like to thank and praise the town board and its main street coordinator for their efforts in those areas. I was gratified to see that the façade grant program funding is still in place on this first draft budget.
If the town is strapped for funds I think there are other areas where savings can be made. The high cost of planning and legal consultants to the town over the last three years suggests to me that savings can be made there. For instance, why does the town absolutely have to have its town attorney sitting through every single town meeting? From what I’ve seen, Granby is the only town in the county where this takes place. Cut that out and the town could easily start to pay for the main street position.
I know that adopting a budget can be challenging work and I applaud the board for its effort. Yet I hope the town will give these thoughts serious consideration as it ponders its budget in these challenging economic times.