Saturday, August 29, 2015


Last week, the Town Council declared themselves the approving authority for the School Budget and committed taxes.  This is a complete reversal of the Town Council’s position in June 3, 2015.  In June, the Town refused to declare the people’s initiative petition calling for a Special Town meeting to discuss the correct figure to be placed on the June warrant because the voters had to approve the School Budget first.

In a letter to the Special Town Meeting Petitioner’s Committee (see below), the Town Clerk declared the petition insufficient because the petition was not filed within 15 days after the budget being questioned becomes legally adopted.  If the budget had to be passed by the voters before it can be legally adopted, how can the Town Council declare themselves the approving authority to commit taxes?  Chairman Pesce, it is impossible to have it both ways.

I am going to show you have very ignorant the ruling by the town was in June.  Why would you need a Special Town meeting after an election?  The people will already have spoken by their votes.  The provisions in our Charter states, the people can challenge any budget appropriations.  This should mean the School budget be included.  By having the Special Town meeting prior to the election, the people could have determine what figures they were willing to pay and those figures would go on the ballot to be voted on by all the people who wish to vote.
I believe the Charter Commission had the right idea and the people in mind when they placed this section on Special Town meeting in the Charter.  Chairman Pesce and his minions could not take a chance that the people would change their numbers so they denied the people’s right to a Special Town meeting. 

This entire mess created by Chairman Pesce and his minions could easily have been avoided had they followed our Charter in the manner it was written.  Think about it, instead of having numerous elections at approximately $3,000.00 per election; a Special Town meeting would hopefully have eliminated the need by having the people provide a number they could live with.  Now as it stands, we have an illegal ruling on the petition and an illegal tax commitment because the people have never approved the School Budget.  In fact, we may need several more elections before we do.

In order to legally correct this mess created by Chairman Pesce, the Town needs to reverse the decision on the Special Town meeting petition and declared the petition sufficient.  The Town Council need to schedule a Special Town meeting and let the people determine what figures they are willing to pay and use those figures for the next election and see if the people will approve the School Budget.  Once the School Budget is approved, use those figures to set the tax commitment.

According to the state, a tax commitment can only be changed if it is illegal which this current one is.  Also, the Town has until November 1, to submit our tax commitment to the state.  This allows plenty of time to complete the required action.

The people responsible of this mess is Chairman Pesce, and Councilors Bickford, Metivier, Brunelle and Crafts.  Please thank them when you see them.

Larry Fillmore

P.S.  I want to explain my position on the School Budget.  I believe all budgets are padded to ensure they end up with sufficient funds to continue operating.  All budgets have room for improvement that will not have an adverse effort on their operating capabilities.  In this case, $600,000.00 may look good on paper but in the real world it is not realistic.  However, the methods used by the Town Council were not in an acceptable manner to me.  The total violation of our Town Charter is a prime example.  Also, character assassination is another unacceptable tactic to get your way.  We all have to live and work together in order to move forward.  It is critical that we are civil to each other for the good of the community.

No comments:

Post a Comment