Falmouth does not need a larger Town Office; we need fewer people in it.
Planning Department salaries are $250,000 a year, not including benefits. In the last five years the department has gone from one planner and one assistant to four planners and one assistant, far more than any other town of our size. They have been working on the Falmouth Shopping Center since 1995. This is unnecessary keep-busy work and should stop. They now are spending taxpayer dollars on designing a Town Center. Sell the abandoned schools and stop wasting money on consultants and planners. If the taxpayers were asked to vote on spending $10 million on this project I guarantee it would lose.
Code enforcement salaries are $140,000 a year plus not including benefits. In the 1980s and 1990s there were two people in code enforcement. At that time the Woodlands and Falmouth Country club were in the build-out stage. Getting a permit took two to three days. Now there are three people in the office, and it takes two weeks for a permit.
I believe that planning and code enforcement should consist of a planner, a code enforcement officer and an administrative assistant for both. This would eliminate 5 positions and save at least $225,000 in salaries. Then we could afford $20,000 to keep the street lights on.
The above are just a few of excess employees. I am sure there are more if we look closer. This would keep the current Town Office adequate for years to come.