There are a lot of reasons why our town seems to specialize in accumulating excess buildings, but one of them is Town Council members who, as Oscar Wilde put it, know the price of everything and the value of nothing. There is a value in having a beautiful place to live, a value in continuity with our history, and a value in municipal buildings to be proud of.
That value is disregarded when Town Council members abandon our historic Town Hall for a temporary building so undistinguished it needs a sign to identify the main entrance. This is not simply an emotional thing: our town reaps a substantial economic benefit from its historic nature, and the temporary quarters for town offices are not free either. For example, the building was never designed to be a court. Setting up for municipal court each week takes time and needless effort to address public safety issues. The building is barely adequate for now, but substantial money will be spent on it in the not-very-distant future, either improving the structure or replacing it.
Happily, a Town Council majority supports a choice, and has opted to offer voters a better way forward. This fall, voters in North Kingstown will have a chance to put our town on a responsible new course that values what is important. Please join our campaign to restore the Town Hall into the seat of our municipal government. Find information about the history of the building, the referendum, and the committee supporting its passage, at saveourtownhall.org. Lend a hand, and together we can create a building — and a government — we can be proud of.