Letter: Missed opportunity?

Published: 3/2/2018 12:01:10 AM
Missed opportunity?

In 2016, Weare’s approved town operating budget reflected a 2 percent increase from 2015. In 2017 the approved amended town budget reflected a 0.3 percent decrease of $108,000. In both cases town services went unaffected. In fact the fire department rescue extended coverage to 15 hours per day, 7 days a week. The police department survived in spite of not being able to find candidates for three years to fill two budgeted positions at $600,000.

For many years Weare has been served well with 1 to 3 percent budget increases. For 2018 the board of selectman proposed a budget that reflects a 6.3 percent increase from 2017. The default budget reflects a 5.1 percent increase. That’s not much of a choice.

A 3.1 percent increase amendment was proposed but failed. Your select board added $108,000 back into the default budget this year, which was the amount amended out last year, thus creating an inflated default base line dollar amount.

Make no mistake, some budget increases result from obligations you voted for: pay raises, new personnel and some contracts. Two contracts your select board entered without you voting on: police chief at a 7 percent increase and town administrator at an 18 percent increase, $11,541 and $14,052 respectively.

With the deliberative session over, your opportunity to hear and act on proposals has passed. With voting on March 13, you get a second chance to direct your tax dollars. Those impacts will appear on your December 2018 tax bill. Do not minimize the deliberative session and what your attendance can mean.

FRANK CAMPANA

Weare


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