There are no more mulligans for area governments.
When businessman Tony Borrello sent the OBSERVER a letter stating he was no longer interested in building a hotel in Hanover, he placed the blame on town officials. "I tried to help the area with a new project, but it has been nothing but headaches dealing with the town of Hanover," he said. "You can be sure we will never do another project in the town of Hanover. After a year of constant interference from the building inspector and the town, we give up, we will do our project elsewhere."
This was not Borrello's first gripe with the town. In previous interviews, he had expressed other frustrations on delays.
Town of Hanover officials needed to be more diplomatic
with a businessman who wants to invest in the community.
Now, the town will miss out on a multi-million dollar project.
Chalk up another missed opportunity to local leadership. And, in typical fashion, the elected officials went on the defensive. "As a board, we have welcomed the project with open arms, but until plans are submitted with an architect's stamp, you don't have a project," said Todd Johnson, Hanover supervisor.
That's not the correct answer.
Here's what town officials needed to say publicly: "We appreciate Mr. Borrello's efforts and plans. We want to accommodate him. In fact, we are reaching out to him immediately to see what we can do to help him expand our tax base and grow our region."
But that's the problem with area government. It is more concerned about keeping its entity afloat than the future. Johnson's statement said so - and it likely only added to a developer's frustrations.
Our community needs to embrace business, especially those who want to bring million-dollar projects to our region.
For now - and for whatever reason - this is a missed opportunity. But town officials, instead of saying the news did not come as a shock, need to do everything in their power to make development happen.
In Hanover, and elsewhere, that just does not seem to be an issue of urgency.