New Paltz: Yet another civic fad alert!

This time* it’s the…ah, umm, strange…outgoing Town of New Paltz supervisor (I restrain myself, really, not from any sense of honor but from a Benedictine-like desire to deny myself the cruel pleasures) trying to rope the village board (these are separate governments, FYI outsiders and recent graduates) into building a joint government complex out near the current (incapacitated) town hall and (cough) community center.

The mayor of the village, F.A. Generic, really likes the idea. He’s thinking of the cash the village could get by selling the current village hall and surrounding digs, because it’s some prime rib real estate. And how wonderful it would be, indeed, to…what? To have an energy efficient building (very green, with solar panels and maybe windmills!). Yes, how wonderful. It’s everything that the local ruling cabal would like to bestow upon themselves. Maybe it will even look like that sculpture in Peace Park.

I’m going to wait a bit, until this thing really gets going, before I analyze it into extinction, but I’ll leave one tip now for the village: Don’t get involved with the town government. That’s a very simple rule of thumb. That doesn’t mean don’t do some shared services so that the roads get plowed. It means don’t get involved with any of the Big Plans. And don’t get involved in anything the supervisor is enthusiastic about. Let her go into the sunset thinking she was the greatest thing since the bottle cap. (And the new guy the Central Committee seems to be getting behind looks like an authentic member of the Generic family. Yes, if he wins, let’s break him in with a fresh civic fad.)

One thing this late-breaking “joint government complex” civic fad item is about is the lingering frustration among certain movers and shakers over the failure to combine the two governments into one, an idea so unnecessary that its advocates built a small cult around it to keep the embers glowing.

* There’s always at least one civic fad going in New Paltz.

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