Monday, February 17



 We are going to convene a legislative session in May. We call it the Annual Town Meeting, (ATM). Since this is a legislative session and we are the legislators I am going to treat it as such. When a legislator introduces legislation they typically have co-sponsors and the bill is named after the co sponsors. In our case a bill can be compared to an article on the ATM Warrant. In that spirit I'm going to call these bills by the name of the people sponsoring them. I figure if a person has the audacity to ask the town to take on an additional 3% in property tax then they shouldn't mind having their name attached to it.

          First let’s go over the Susan Bachelder/Dave Johnson Property Tax Increase. As you know Susan gave an impassioned presentation on adopting the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in our town. Susan, Dave Johnson and four members of the planning board went to a dinner for town officials to learn about the CPA. Susan said that they all went away enthusiastic about the program. Of course they were all enthusiastic; they are the boards and committees that will be spending the monies. Once the CPA is implemented those special projects that could never get passed at the ATM can be done without approval of the town. Essentially this act would create a slush fund for all those projects that the town voted down. Susan had all the buzzwords down. She called it a surcharge, a wonderful financing mechanism and a great way to get matching funds. But let’s face it, IT’S A TAX INCREASE.

          Now let’s talk about the Juliette Hass Water Tax. I call it this because there isn't a year that goes by that Juliette doesn't ask the taxpayers to “be a good neighbor” and foot the bill for the mismanaged water company. I know the town took over billing and things are getting better. However, as long as the person who lost hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars is still running the water company it is still being mismanaged. Let me remind you, we're already doing our good neighbor deed in that we subsidize the water company to the tune of 80k per year. So please don't imply that the only way to be a good neighbor is to pay for the entire water company debt. It’s insulting to all of your good neighbors. By the way I have a question, if the water users are in such need of financial aid, why would we want to impose a CPA tax on them. Doesn't that seem inconsistent? They can't afford the water but they can afford to pay the CPA tax. Maybe I just don't understand.      

Personally I think it’s a bad idea to raise any new taxes; especially in these hard economic times. There are a lot of people in our town still reeling from the effects of the recession. With many families having to work several jobs just to keep what they have; to impose another tax is unconscionable. Yet, we have people who really don't concern themselves with what it costs the poorer taxpayer as long as they get their pet projects done. If the future brings a better economic situation then these issues can be raised again. But they should be put before the town at a proper town meeting; not folded into a slush fund that doesn't even have to be approved by the townspeople. 

Here’s what I think.

          As a postscript, Charlie Flynn chimed in on the CPA issue and he thinks it’s a great idea. He said “it provides a venue to do things in this town we've always wanted to do and have never been able to do”. What Charlie really meant is that it creates a “financing mechanism” (SLUSH FUND), for funding projects that they have never been able to get approved at town meeting. Rather than inundate you with too much information, I’ll wait until next post to talk about the Charlie Flynn tax and other important budget items.


  1. "Taxes are the dues we pay for a civilized society" -

    Oliver Wendell Holmes

    1. If you were retired living on $1400/month social security, you may feel you already paid your debt and don't have the luxury of being excessively generous.

  2. Yes; but we determine those taxes by a majority of votes. Any person has the right to try to influence others to their opinion.

    Bear in mind that many years after Holmes spoke those words Congress passed a new income tax law. The rates would start at 1 percent, rising to 7 percent for those with incomes of over $500,000.

  3. Let's hope we can get rid of all these nutty people: Flynn, Turner, Brazie, Haas and Batchelder. and all those involved with the Water Company. They have mismanaged our town for years.

    Please keep the pressure on, Kevin.

  4. It is the people who have mismanaged the town for years. I thank the people who are involved in town politics. but every time we have a town meeting and less than 15% of the people show, they're mismanaging their town.

    When less than half the registered voters turn out to vote the people are saying "I WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING".

    You worry about the wrong thing my friend. The change will not happen until Egremonters decide to own their town. You should work to get the people informed and active in the running of their town.

    By the way, I do not keep the pressure on; the people do, the issues do; I simply put out the facts with my unique spin. Hopefully it will be enough to get people involved.

    We citizens have to learn how to keep the town officials accountable and in check. When they know we care they will be responsive..

  5. I don't make a habit of reading this blog but when a friend in the community said I was mentioned I logged on. What rhetoric! I spoke at a public meeting and aired an opinion in public. Nothing more. I don't feel what I said about all taxpayers assuming the debt service for the Water Department was outlandish and I stand by that opinion. Anyone has the right to agree or disagree with me. I welcome and respect that. The writer of this blog apparently does not. He would rather make differences of opinion personal. To bad for us as a community.
    For the record I will continue to attend public meetings and if and when I feel it is appropriate will continue to comment. I will not be intimated by the possibility of being fodder for other people's skewed outlook on life.

  6. Juliette

    Thank you for your comment and you're absolutely right "what rhetoric!" I guess I'll take that as a complement. I don't usually respond to this type of negative comment but in your case I'll make an exception. I'm sorry you don't read this blog. It seems to me, whether you agree or disagree with an issue, the information has value. Where you got the idea that the writer of this blog does not entertain or respect other peoples opinion is beyond my comprehension. It shows that you probably haven't read this blog and perhaps should. I welcome healthy debate and sometimes unhealthy debate like this. The fact is you and I disagree on this water debt issue and we both have a right to express our opinion, you in several open meetings I on my blog. I guess you on my blog as well. You seem to embrace this issue at a primal level so you shouldn't take it as a personal affront that I attach your name to it. I find it interesting however that you think the taxpayers should pay for a grossly mismanaged water company that they were promised wouldn't cost them one thin dime and I'm the one accused of having a skewed outlook. I think I'll keep my outlook. But your opinion is as always welcome.