Thursday, May 27

Guilt By Association

As I learn more about the town meeting behind the town meeting the more frustrated I get. It has come to my attention that while the people who were discussing the water issue in regard to whether the town should vote to either take the money out of free cash or raise and appropriate the money from new taxes, there was another choice that would have resolved the issue without spending any of the taxpayers money.
Frankly I am outraged that during the debate over article 3 none of the selectmen or the finance committee informed the voters that if they were to vote down the entire article there was another article that would have raised the monies from the people who actually use the water. This seems deceptive. I wonder how people would have voted if the issue were presented in total honesty. What ever happened to truth in advertising?
Honestly, I don’t know who we can trust when the people that we elect to advise us on these issues obfuscate such important aspects of the issues. Now I can’t say that they didn’t post the information, but when you consider that you have to vote on article 3 before you can discuss article 4, it seems like a slight of hand to me. They moved on to article 5 by saying that article 4 was moot because article 3 passed. Lets look at this technique that was used to deceive the town and tell me if you aren‘t as offended as I am.
The elected officials, for fear of losing votes, don’t want to tell the water users that they have to pay the full cost of the water they use. They write the article that raises and appropriates the funds from the taxpayers. Then they write the article that raises the funds from the water dept. revenues as a backup plan in case the townspeople figure out that they’re getting hosed. I’m sure they were overjoyed at the fact that the argument became whether to use free cash or raise and appropriate from taxation.
The honest way to have presented it would have been to write one article and offer two options. Option one, raise solely from water dept. revenues. Option two, use free cash or raise and appropriate a 35% portion from new taxes. Now, if these were the choices which one do you think the voters would have passed? So next time this happens, and it will come up next year, lets argue the proper issues. Don’t be fooled by the straw man argument.
This is my opinion, and you can disagree if you like, but there isn’t a person who was on that stage that isn’t guilty of deceiving the voters and anyone up there who kept silent is just as guilty by association.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the result was as you describe but I disagree that anyone was intentionally misleading the voters. The problem here is inadequate preparation for the town meeting and a slavish adherence to centuries old legalese that isn't required. I will try once again to convince the selectboard to modernize and make more informative the agenda for town meetings. Will you help?