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REFLECTION CONNECTION: Petropoulos On Spending Money Unnecessarily

Public meetings, while serving an official & organizing purpose, occasionally produce random thought-provoking reflections that have no place in a news story, but can still be valuable to ponder - agree or disagree. So, we are instituting the ‘Reflection Connection’ as a place to share these occasional comments and reflections.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Jack Petropoulos made the comments below at the September 19 Selectmen’s meeting in reference to land protected via resident Edward M. Juskalian’s generous offer to provide a conservation restriction on land that would have required the town spending $330,000 to protect from development. Thank you Mr. Juskalian for your community-minded generosity.

Chairman Petropoulos:

“Two entities recommended that we spend $330,000 on these 16 acres. We [the Board of Selectmen] and these entities were ready to have us say ‘yes’ to spending $330,000 of taxpayer money on these 16 acres, all the while that we had information saying we could get these 16 acres protected without spending a penny.

And yet, we were ready to do this. And I find this just to be remarkable, remarkable, remarkable. All it took was one or two Selectmen saying “Go back, get that committee together, make this happen, get this for free.” And we did it, we got it for free. My intent here is not to embarrass anyone, put to put out a reminder to all that we are capable of spending money unnecessarily. And I want to always, always, always, remember that we’re capable of doing that. And ask ourselves two and three times before we spend money: Can we do this less expensively? Can we get this a different way? Because that’s how we will be responsible with taxpayer money.”

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