To the Editor,
I do not believe that the town hall "space" issue needs millions of dollars to solve. Nor do I see the town hall staff and space requirements increasing given the trend over the past ten years of a declining population. Other less expensive operational efficiency options should be explored.
I attended a Committee meeting that was formed to justify a new town hall. What struck me the most at this meeting was that the Committee members and architect consultant were all eligible for social security. The Committee's agenda was the baby boomer's old brick and mortar approach to make town government more "efficient." The millennium generation and future generations to come will never set foot in a town hall. Their generation has learned to communicate digitally and they have little interest in the location of a brick and mortar town hall.
Options that could be explored should include increasing the use of digital communications and document storage. Digital storage eliminates the need for voluminous paper storage. All the old paper documents can be scanned for easy online viewing and then those original paper documents that have to be retained long term by law could be stored at an offsite vault freeing up existing town hall vault space. Other ideas to free up space include looking at the relocation of Probate Court office. There is no mandate that the State of Connecticut Probate Court serving 12 towns has to be housed in the Litchfield Town Hall. An alternate Probate Court office location could free up a good portion of the existing lower level town hall space. Consideration could also be given to relocating the lower level police office. Perhaps relocating the police office to the LIS/LHS campus could serve a multipurpose school/town safety issue.
My family has called Litchfield home for over a century. I'm a third generation Litchfield resident. I'm sad to say that all thirteen of my family's fourth generation members have fled Connecticut to find jobs elsewhere. State politicians have been destroying the State with irresponsible borrowing and spending. On Wednesday, Litchfield taxpayers can actually say no to more borrowing and spending. Please vote no on the courthouse and no on giving away the Bantam property (and then no to Leo Paul's initiative for a new Town Hall). Let the courthouse go onto the tax roll. The jail renovation has certainly enhanced the center business environment. I'm sure the same could happen with the courthouse.