We are now in the beginning of the local political process. In any healthy representative democracy, there are differing opinions as to the local issues of the day. Discussions of these issues either in the print media or orally is also healthy. However, the comments made should be accurate and knowledgeable.
A member of a former board should not criticize the failure to pave when that board defunded or failed to fund paving. A member of a former board should not criticize the failure to buy needed capital equipment when that board failed to fund the purchase. A member of a former board should not criticize the failure to have adequate consumables on hand when that board failed to fund the purchase of said consumables.
When we assess the need for capital construction, the source of funds is always a topic of discussion. In all budgetary analysis, there are three commonalities: the first is, do we really have a need; the second is, can we afford it; and the third is, can we get someone else to pay for it?
When it comes to grant funding, the grant guidance is binding. Some grants will fund 100 percent of an approved project while other grants require a local funding match. However, many grants specifically preclude supplementation. Supplementation means that you cannot use grant funds for something that is already budgeted. Oftentimes, absent exigent circumstances, the town board can be financially prudent in delaying a project until after a grant application is approved or denied.
In most budgetary matters, personal or governmental, it is better to spend someone else’s money than your own.
The current board should be commended for maximizing the use of grant funding.