Monday, March 19, 2007


The Town of Chautauqua has been in the news a bit lately for a proposed plan to shift road maintance away from the town, to the county. Sunday's Post-Journal carried the latest developments.

Consolidation makes sense in many ways, but the tail of this article raises some of the questions posed regarding the county takeover which are good food for thought on consolidation generally. Delivery of governmental services is likely to change following any regionalism initiative, going hand-in-hand with reduced costs, but that seems to be the practical-level material not answered in the Chautauqua proposal.

Legally, it also appears to be out of sync with some of the law. If there's a car accident because of poor plowing, is it the town or the county that's on the hook? In our overly litigious society, the answer is probably "both", but it's that sort of liability issue that once scuttled auto leasing, for example, and may be relevant here.


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