The Falmouth Town Council has asked for input regarding the notion that funds generated by the redevelopment of the Plummer-Motz/Lunt site “be placed in reserve for a future community center.” This is a bad idea.
The money should go back to the general fund. Anyone paying attention to what’s going on in Augusta and elsewhere knows that tough budget times are ahead. Interest in an expanded community center has been expressed in some circles. However such a major expenditure, which would likely require a referendum, should compete honestly for increasingly scarce town funds with more important town priories, including education, roads, land acquisition and, perish the thought, reducing taxes to offset the increase occasioned by the new school that made these properties surplus.
Earmarking these funds would give the public the mistaken impression that a broad public dialog on these competing priorities had already taken place; it most assuredly has not. Worse still, it would allow the council and others to repeat the canard trumpeted during the most recent referendum that spending serious money on a community center wouldn’t raise our taxes.
David R. Murray