Once again, another town non-profit has run up against the demand of certain RTM members to have a town-wide, uniform policy for the $1 a year leases we grant to various clubs and organizations. Last night it was the Mianus Boat Club’s turn, as the RTM rejected an extension of their lease not, according to at least some of the opponents, because of any animus toward the club, but because Greenwich has no uniform rules for these type of lease arrangements and it’s time we did. My response? Eh.
Other than the desire for orderly direction that some people suffer from, what’s wrong with the current non-policy? The club pays a buck (plus capital improvements since 1983 of $800,000), the town foregoes what one RTM member estimated was $14,500 in market value rent and in return gets a facility for town residents that would cost the town $150,000 to operate itself. The club’s open to all residents, so we don’t have a situation where a few select people gain a benefit at the expense of others, and we gain an amenity for our waterfront town that’s scarce: a place for townies to enjoy and access the Sound.
But if we need a policy so that accountant types can sleep at night then fine, let’s do it. What we have now is a practice where every couple of years one of these arrangements comes up for review, the process is held hostage while demands for a strict rule are aired and, when nothing is done, no uniform policy enacted, the issue recedes until the next time. Seems like a waste of energy to me.