With the closing of the Petri Baking plant just a little more than two months away, Silver Creek residents and trustees are facing some tough times and decisions in regard to its future.
But one decision that the village needs to make may be easier due to the recent exodus of officers. That involves the Silver Creek Police Department.
With a population of fewer than 2,700 - and likely to continue to decrease, the village is the smallest unit of government to have its own police force. Even the State University Police at Fredonia serves more than 5,500 people on its campus.
Earlier this month, one of the department's longest-tenured members, Sgt. Stephen Romanik, right, tendered his resignation that took effect Wednesday.
"I want to thank (Police Chief Timothy Roche) for the opportunity to work with you for so many years in the Silver Creek Police Department. I appreciate all the knowledge you have passed on to me and the many learning opportunities you have provided me. The decision to transfer to the Chautauqua County Sheriff's office was a very difficult one to make," Romanik's resignation letter read.
It is possible that Romanik and the others who have left the department see the writing on the wall. With a major employer closing its doors, village government must become smaller or possibly not exist at all.
With this being the case, the highest taxing governmental entity in the county, the village of Silver Creek, must start reducing expenses immediately. It can begin with the village's Police Department.
Other county villages, including Falconer, Brocton, Lakewood and Mayville, do not have their own police protection or, if it does, it cooperates with other entities, such as Lakewood and Busti.
Currently there are openings in the department. Filling those openings only makes an inevitable decision for the future even tougher.
We understand that abolishing the department now is not an easy decision. But if the village were a business, it would have to begin its downsizing process.
The only big question remaining is this: Do village trustees, even the one who has been absent while serving the community, have the guts and courage to do what is fiscally responsible?