To the Editor:
The State of Connecticut, including most local municipalities, has well publicized money issues. The most common "solution" to these fiscal issues is to set a budget (or raise a debt limit) based on "wants," then figure out how much to raise taxes to obtain the "needed" money.
Unfortunately, our elected representatives refuse to think seriously of, much less implement, the existence of common sense changes proven successful in the competitive business world such as belt tightening (elimination of the unessential) and/or streamlining (updating or modernizing outdated practices).
Thoughtful consideration of this reminded me of an early 19th century group in England known as Luddites. What is a Luddite? In today's terms it has come to mean someone opposed to industrialization, automation, computerization or labor saving new technologies in general.
Does this fit with fiscal management behavior in Connecticut? Indeed it does! One striking example is the standard procedure for periodic property revaluations in most, if not all, towns in this State.
I refer here to the recent Republican-American article regarding the door-to-door physical inspection and revaluation of property underway by the town of Morris tax assessor. Why this time consuming, labor intensive, inefficient and expensive practice is not computerized is beyond common sense, especially when fast and efficient computerization of this process is widely practiced elsewhere and could be accomplished by anyone with proficiency in spread sheet applications. Maybe the Luddites have returned (or maybe never left).
To the Editor:
With the latest news about Educational Cost Sharing and state aid to cities and towns throughout the state, it seems pretty clear that even IF the legislature manages to find a way to a budget, many towns, Litchfield included, will take a financial pounding.
As far back as I can remember (and I entered my 8th decade a while back) the issue of school regionalization has gone unresolved. Somewhere deep in our area's antedeluvian past, there are ancient resentments that border on blood feuds that have kept Litchfield and Region #6 apart, despite the obvious benefits of a merger for all parties.
A single school system will result in economies of scale as well as the potential for broader curricula, expanded opportunities for sports and other activities, and savings on bus transportation.
A preliminary meeting between school superintendents and the first selectmen in the area might be a good start. Popular support from all sides might keep the ball rolling.
How about it - Litchfield? Warren? Goshen? Morris? Time to check in!