In these demanding times when municipal, state, and federal officials need to worry, more than ever, about tight budgets and the financial burdens placed on taxpayers, a discussion about several expenditures involving the town were on the minds of at least one elected official and two citizens at the Elkton town meeting this evening. Prior to the public comments section Commissioner Storke wondered about the cost of speed bumps, which are priced at $2,000 each, and whether there aren’t other cost-effective ways to address the speeding problem. When it was reported that an auger at the new sewer plant was damaged, he commented that the project construction manager and the contractors need to take care of this so taxpayers won’t have to shoulder the burden later on. Commissoner Givens asked staff about the downtown area, saying things looked “bleak.”
During public comments, two citizens asked who was paying for the cost for Commissioner and Elkton Alliance Director Mary Jo Jablonski to attend the National Manager Street Manager’s Conference in Chicago IL., from March 1 to March 4. Jimmy Nicholson, owner of the North Street Hotel, remarked “Who picked that council person to go to the Main Street Manager’s conference in Chicago?” Mayor Fisona replied we didn’t pick her, she’s the Main Street Manager and the state is paying for it. To that comment, the Mayor and Council got an earful. Nicholson responded “don’t you understand that’s my money too, I pay all those taxes!” Since we were covering it live, we’ll let Jimmy say it in his own words because he goes on to talk about taxes, business conditions in the central business district, and local media’s coverage of town news.
As the hour grows late, we want to post this quick piece on news from the Elkton Town Meeting since we were covering it live. Hopefully the Whig will help us out and produce some copy from the meeting too since there were several worthy news items for a local paper. But in the event they don’t we have more audio and our notes so we’ll dash off other reports in the days ahead to fill in any media coverage gaps. We’ll certainly get back to this in keeping with our task of providing the “411 on the mayor and Commissioners of Elkton.” Jim didn’t seem to have much faith in the story getting any deeper coverage from “the media.” We’ll see how much makes it into print.