Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards has kept his word regarding more municipal cooperation.
As noted in Saturday's edition, the executive has scheduled a meeting for May 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Carnahan Theater at Jamestown Community College. The forum, a question-and-answer session for mayors and town supervisors, will be led by Dierdre Scozzafava, deputy secretary for local government, and Kyle Wilber, municipal management consultant, from the state Department of State.
But while we are at it, why not invite some municipal attorneys to the forum? It would be helpful to know if these hired contractors, paid for by the taxpayers, are there to represent a municipality's best interest and will work with area towns and villages regarding possible consolidations.
One area attorney has collected some $250,000 annually to do this type of work for villages and towns. Some of these entities he represents, we must note, have fewer than 800 residents.
When collecting that type of paycheck, why would any municipal attorney favor a consolidation? That would mean one less town or village to represent as well as one less paycheck from the taxpayers.
That thinking, behind closed doors and not discussed publicly, could hinder any future plans for sharing services.
It may also lead some, especially those who represent more than one municipality, to put enough doubts in the minds of any board regarding cost-effective measures and consolidations. Those doubts are usually all it takes to halt progress around here.