Lost in the uproar over the Fort Ann mayor's remarks about dreaded liberals was the surprise to many that the village of Fort Ann even exists.
Who outside Fort Ann knew?
In an era of consolidation and shared services, many bigger villages in our region have disappeared, and with good reason. Duplication of services, and unnecessary layers of government are expensive. I drive through Fort Ann often, fish and hike there frequently, I can only recall one sign on Route 4 indicating where the village starts and where it ends.
I also don't see any services that would seem to be offered by village government. No police or fire departments, and what appears to be only a tiny highway department, services that easily could be absorbed by the town.
A 2014 state audit mentions a sewer and water system though, and an annual village budget of around $106,000 at the time.
(That audit found the village in "fiscal stress" and opined that the Village Board "should improve its budget development practices.")
Contact information for village officials is so tough to find online that those who were irate at Langlois were erroneously calling town Supervisor Rich Moore because the town office is the only municipal listing that can be found.
Now this is no criticism of the town of Fort Ann, its residents or government.
But we've seen villages such as Salem and Ticonderoga disappear in recent years for the tax savings, and others such as Greenwich and Whitehall consider dissolution. It seems the village of Fort Ann is a ripe candidate for this move as well, whether or not the mayor is unable to control his diatribes.
-- Don Lehman