And the Town Hall renovation appears back on track. And we’re glad about that. If it continues to fruition, it will help solve one of Woodstock’s major problems.
But the difficulty all along has been that there is no coordinated plan, or timeline for dealing with any of these items. At least not one that has been shared with the public. It’s OK to bring up new ideas and discuss them, in our typically heated fashion. But discussions of different possibilities seem to churn up steam and run full out until they hit the brick wall. And then it’s back to Town Hall. It is better to settle on a direction and lay it out clearly and deliberately, focusing on costs and steps along the way. This has not been done. It didn’t become apparent until this week that the town board was moving back toward its future Town Hall renovation.
The confusion perpetrated by first appropriating $17,000 for Community Center plans, then changing it to $50,000, then rescinding that resolution, led citizens to question the action in the petition fashion available to them. It seemed another bolt out of the blue.
Renovating Town Hall to deal with the space problems of the court, dispatch and police has always stood as the clearest ‘art of the possible’ solution. The referendum in 2007 came after years (decades, maybe) of wondering whether to do it or not. Someone always came up with other ideas, ones that were always a lot less possible. So onward with that.
But let’s not fool ourselves. There are other problems. The workers at the upper Comeau are also toiling in extremely substandard, if somewhat lovely, conditions. The Community Center must be dealt with. These must be dealt with methodically, with an overall plan in mind, informing the public along the way. ++