More on paying attention
Consumers pay for what they buy in a very direct way. You walk up to the cash register with a gallon of milk and hand them the money. Citizens are removed from the actual transaction of purchasing items, like a new road. We elect people who then turn around and hire people who then turn around delegate that task of purchasing that road.
The buck stops with you. When a town makes poor choices, it does so in part because citizens made poor choices somewhere. You elect poor leadership and they hire the wrong guy. Right? All excuses aside, it does come down to our responsibility. In turn, the citizens should of course hold those they put in power responsible. Like a parent who has to pick up the tab for a broken window. But you still have to pay.
Don't let our representative form of government keep you from ensuring that your town is making good decisions on how it spends our money.