Friday, May 8, 2015

WHY IS THE TOWN COUNCIL SO HUNG UP ON $600,000.00???? ---- by Larry Fillmore

I am wondering why the Town Council is so hung-up on demanding the School Department cut $600,000.00 in this year’s budget.  The first problem I have with the amount to be cut.  It has been established that the amount was arrived at because the School budget local contribution is twice as much as the municipal budget.

This is not even a valid figure to use because the majority of the School’s budget is controlled by the State where the Municipal budget does not have as many, if any, State restrictions.   So once again, the Council is comparing apples to oranges.  If the Council is so concerned about the School Department’s budget, why didn’t they compare the funds NOT controlled by the State?  This would have made it a valid comparison.

The School Board and Mr. Green have always worked real hard to control their spending. The business manager, Catherine Messer, is always on top of everything concerning the funds the School Department has.  This year the School Board and Mr. Green are not asking for any additional local funds.  This is with two bonds added to the mix by using Capital Reserve Funds and Bond Proceeds.  According to the School Board lawyer, this is perfectly legal.  Chairman Pesce does not believe this is a good business practice.  My personal feeling on this is, if it is legal and after several years of raising my taxes, there is no increase in my taxes, this is a good thing.  So why is the Town Council objecting?

I am going to provide the community with my person feelings on this.  First, this is a diversionary tactic to keep the people from exploring the Municipal budget and specifically the Police Department.  Second, it is to cover-up the fact that the Municipal budget is not “flat” yet.  It maybe before they vote on it but it is not right now.  Third, the Council does not want to talk about the closing of the Communication/Dispatch Center and finally, this Council wants to avoid putting a binding referendum question on whether or not the people want to vote on the Municipal budget by departments on the June ballot.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Town Council was as dedicated to the Municipal budget coming in “flat” as the School Department?  I believe the community needs some relief this year by not raising our taxes again.  We have too many of our friends and neighbors losing their homes in our town because of not being able to pay their taxes.

Larry Fillmore