A few years ago, I joined the West Hartford Taxpayers Association because I’m a taxpayer and hoped I’d get more information about what’s going on with the town and its spending. I didn’t learn much.
The group, as best I could tell, consisted mostly of longtime residents who were so keen on holding down taxes that they couldn’t recognize the importance of preserving our educational system, recreation programs and other services. Many of them didn’t see that it’s not so much what we pay that matters as what we get for our money. In West Hartford, the equation is pretty damn good.
But there are, no doubt, areas where costs could be trimmed and services cut. A good taxpayers group might find them, let the community know what’s up, and win support to make reductions in some areas in order to fund additions in others.
Even though I was dissatisfied with the group, I was glad it existed. Any watchdogs are good in my book. So it’s disappointing to recognize the association has done almost nothing since losing the last budget referendum. It’s like it got shoved into the rubble of the old Crowley dealership and carted off.
Is it still out there? Is anyone in charge of it? What’s it doing? And does anyone give a damn?