The Groton Town Council's appropriation for parking in Downtown Mystic is disconcerting. First, we have a council that in its desire to support Mystic businesses exploited a loophole to appropriate $50,000 that was never approved for that purpose by taxpayers or the RTM. And then we have to listen to the council talk about this as some act of altruism on their part. There's nothing like spending someone else's money to make you feel good and provide a distraction from your struggling project management on a foolish project. Not to mention the one councilor that opposed the idea didn't have the courage to vote no, and just abstained instead.
But far and away the most troubling aspect that has been brought to light is that the town has around $1.5 million, essentially off the books that could be used in this manner. If the council wants to actually take some meaningful action that benefits taxpayers it would be to end this practice of maintaining an encumbrance from prior year's budgets. Any funds that have been collected and not used should simply be put towards the subsequent year's budget to reduce the tax burden when the council sets the mill rate.