FORESTVILLE Translating for new post
In April, Chautauqua County came to Forestville’s rescue. At that time, the village was concerned it may have to increase property taxes on its residents by 445 percent due to poor management and oversight of village finances in the past.
To help the village bring its tax hike down to a much more reasonable figure – we note sarcastically – of 112 percent, the county offered a loan of $150,000. It came with strings attached, especially with a call for a study on village dissolution.
But one month later, and in true village of Forestville spirit, elected officials in May made the case that the struggling entity will try to fix its problems on its own. To do that, the village will be hiring a new position: a village auditor.
Village officials believe hiring another employee to watch spending is a more reasonable idea than dissolving an entity in disarray.
Here is what village Mayor Kevin Johnson said in announcing the position. “The county doesn’t want (us) to create this new position, but we are creating it.”
Translation: We don’t care what the county tells us to do, especially since they already loaned us the money we desperately needed. Now that we have those funds in our pocket, we can do whatever we want.
Johnson later said: “All the naysayers out there saying the village should not be a village anymore, this is what we are going to do about it.”
Translation: Even though the county wanted us to do a dissolution study when they bailed us out, we’d rather not. Thanks again for getting us out of the hole, but we’re prepared to spend more money and keep raising taxes in the future.
County lawmakers had the property owners of Forestville who were facing an outrageous tax hike on their minds when they approved the loan by an 18-1 margin.
Translation: When the county threw money at the problem, it enabled a village to continue its questionable decisions.