A SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
There are two town meetings on Tuesday May 7th. The first one is a Special Town Meeting at 6:00pm and has four articles in which the town has to approve a total of $35,642.50 above and beyond what we will vote on in the following town meeting. This warrant includes items that were not anticipated in last year’s budget. All the articles ask to spend from available funds so we don’t have to raise and appropriate new taxes to pay for them. However, we do have to decide if we should fund these special articles.
I’m going to start with article 4 because it is just too insane. The BoS is asking that we spend $15,000.00 to hire a third Chief of Police. We have the chief, then we have the acting chief and now we need an interim chief. Please, STOP THE INSANITY. How many Chiefs do we need for 7 indians? We are now being asked to come up with $15,000.00 to fund an interim chief. But wait, this is only if the follow-up investigation after the Pomeroy investigation takes only three months. Chairman Turner said that we may have to allow for up to six months to investigate the real chief. It could end up costing a total of $30,000.00 just for the interim chief. The good news is that if we hire an interim chief to investigate real chief the acting chief will go back to being a regular officer. We can stop the insanity by voting this article down. If this does get voted down we can keep the acting chief and have the State Police or another agency do the investigation for little to nothing. This is why we all need to make it a priority to be at the special town meeting before the town meeting.
Article 1 asks for $7,842.50 to pay for another water company deficit. This in addition to the subsidy we voted for last year at the town meeting. I guess it doesn’t matter whether you approve this article or not because if we vote it down the state will require us to pay it regardless. I only mention this to point out the fact that whatever the water company cannot pay from user fees will have to be covered by the town. Remember this when they ask us to take over the entire debt load of the water company in about a half an hour.
Article 2 asks for $10,000.00 to pay for a detailed audit of the water company and police department accounts. Personally I think this is throwing good money after bad. The finance committee argued that we really need to do a forensic audit to get to the bottom of the issues that plague the town. This type of audit would cost well over $30,000.00. If we are going to do that we may as well go through all of the towns departments. We already know that the water company has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and we will never recoup it. Do we really need to pay another auditing firm to tell us that? The Pomeroy report, which cost us $9,800.00, uncovered several accounts that the police department had and the details of these accounts. Do we want to pay for another audit there as well? We can stop the insanity; just say no.
Article 3 asks us to approve $2,800.00 to pay wages to the personal director. You remember that Last year we capped this position at $6,000.00 and apparently what capping means is to only go over the cap by $2,800.00 or 47%. Granted there were a lot of unexpected personnel issues like the police dept. But be aware that this is the proverbial camel putting his nose into the tent. Now they want to increase the budget for the personnel director to $9,500.00. Where will it stop; more accurately, where will we stop it? I hope to see you at the special town meeting before the town meeting.