Local News

Town Leaders Argue Away Money

Posted April 13, 1998

— When paying taxes, citizens expect that government help will be there if needed.

People in an Enfield neighborhood are furious after a squabble among their own city leaders that ruined chances for a massive state grant.

There are not many outhouses in our state, but for people on Plant street, these facilities are the only option.

These outhouses are also one of the many projects that Enfield's elected officials are not addressing.

Commissioners are so opposed to each other that two members along with the mayor are refusing to attend city meetings.

Consequently, the town recently lost a state grant to fix up more than a dozen homes in Ethel Alston's neighborhood.

"Our houses need fixing and we were looking forward to the money to fix them with," Alston said. "Now, it's gone and we're just in a fix that we can't do nothing about."

Neighbors here claim that petty political squabbling ruined their $700,000 chance to improve their homes.

"All of them are educated people," Toya Jones. "They know what they're doing and stuff. It seems like they could have been able to come to some kind of agreement."

In fact, city leaders have not gathered for one vote since June of last year. At least one commissioner believes that the group has missed as many as 30 meetings so far, and no one expects the 10-month impasse to end anytime soon.

Last summer, the town was the first ever to get its budget from the state, after leaders refused to meet and work one out.

Unless something changes soon, many expect the town to embarrassingly make history again.

The next town election is still two years away.


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