Leafing through my local newspaper, it’s hard to decide what to be more outraged about. There’s the fact that Hartford, in its omniscient wisdom, determines the number of taxicabs allowed to operate in the town, and that requests to increase this number due to the new train station (the first on the New Haven line in a century) have been ignored. Or there’s the town’s Board of Finance rejection of $102,300 for a back-up generator for Town Hall:

McCarthy Vahey asked Director of Public Works, Rich White, why it was important.

White said that if power went out during a winter storm and pipes froze, which could happen since the building is old and has little insulation, the pipes aren’t easily accessible because they are in plaster walls.

[First Selectman] Tetreau said the building not only had the tax collector and tax assessor’s office, but also the Registrar of Voters, and pointed out that the entire state almost didn’t vote in the last election because of power outages from a late October snowstorm.

Generally I’m a spend-as-little-public-money-as-possible kind of guy, but archives and records are fundamental to transparent and functional government. A back-up generator for a building built in 1794 to protect that foundation against the double whammy of, say, an unseasonal snowstorm or a direct hit from a tropical storm and a fire is a reasonable expense.

But no. The measure was voted against 5-2. However, you’ll be happy to know the Board of Finance did vote to spend $105,000 to repair bunkers at the town-owned golf course.

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