Is Selling Town Properties a Good Idea?

Some Questions to Ponder

By O.O.. Rawls

A home owner had trouble balancing his budget so he sold a piece of his property. A few years later, his expenses were still higher than his family income, so he sold another piece, but continued to spend the family money unnecessarily and to lavish his friends with gifts. A few years after that, with his expenses still higher than his income, the last piece was sold.

His neighbor, whose expenses also were higher than his family income chose another route: he added a few hours of overtime to his work week. He stopped the expensive cleaning service and found out his family could do the job in-house better, faster and cheaper.  He traded his expensive car for a more economical one. He worked with the gardener, tending to his trees.

At the end of the day, Owner One ended up with large apartment blocks on his former property boxing his family in, while Owner Two’s grandchildren played under the old trees in his still large yard.

At the present, as the council considers selling 3 acres of prime town property to developers, it may be time to ask ourselves and our elected officials:

  • Which policy do you think our town should adopt? The short term or the long run?
  • Does it make financial sense to sell the town piece by piece?
  • Does it make financial sense to attract developers by giving them freebies such as exemption from paying taxes for years and years while residents are saddled with high property taxes?
  • Is there a vision for Stratford’s future, or is it piecemeal efforts at closing budget gaps?

We have an opportunity to have a say in our town’s financial health and its future.

Let your voice be heard. Write your councilperson. Ask them those important questions. Attend the public forum on February 24th. Speak up. It’s your town!

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