I write with urgent concern about the recent, surprise proposal for the Town of Orange to borrow $8.5 million to buy the Racebrook Country Club. I believe this is an extremely flawed proposal for a number of reasons.
First, this is far, far beyond the scope of government, which is intended only to provide public safety, emergency preparedness, public education, and infrastructure maintenance.
Nowhere in any government charter is it meant to bail out a failing business in the private sector and use public resources to do so.
It’s been said we should have all the government we need, and only the government we need. This proposal fails that test.
Furthermore, while it seems clear First Selectman Zeoli and the Board of Selectmen have been considering this prospect and negotiating with the current owner for months, the idea was just sprung on Orange residents in the past few weeks.
The precedent would put the town at risk of an untold number of future business bailouts. The owner of every single parcel on the Boston Post Road could conceivably make a comparable development threat to put the town in an untenable position.
I urge all Orange voters to reject this proposal at the February 16 referendum. It is the very definition of government encroachment and must not be allowed to happen.