COLUMBUS – The Town of Columbus’ decision back in 2009 to build a courtroom onto the town hall not only provoked its supervisor at the time to resign, but has now become one of several campaign issues for candidates running for supervisor this year.
Both former supervisor George C. Coates and political newcomer Tom Grace say overspending on the structure and other expensive decisions made by the council have pressed taxpayers’ backs to the wall. (A third candidate for office, Brandon Loomis, an independent, could not be contacted for this article.)
“The town board has made spending decisions that were obviously very costly, including the court room on the town hall,” said Grace, who is the Democratic Party’s candidate and a longtime Otsego County journalist.
Leading up to his decision to resign, which Coates now says was “a mistake,” the 2007-2010 supervisor said he encouraged his council to merge the town’s court with the Village of New Berlin’s on a temporary if not permanent basis. But, they ignored his consolidation idea.