When the state ended its system of county government in 1999, the Hampshire Council of Governments was formed as a consortium of member towns within Hampshire County. Earlier this week, the Council announced its intentions to cease operations, citing an “unsustainable financial burden” as its primary reason. The Council’s troubles are not recent, with ongoing issues prompting the withdrawal of two member towns—South Hadley and Belchertown—over the past two years. It still has ongoing financial liabilities, which the Council hopes to reconcile by selling the old Hampshire County Courthouse in Northampton. Ray Hershel sat down with HCG’s Executive Director Todd Ford and its Chairman Rus Peotter to discuss the Council’s plans to dissolve.
Full disclosure: Mr. Peotter is the former General Manager of this television station.