Sunday, April 27


Can you believe that these selectmen have the audacity to ask the taxpayers to pay for the entire debt of the water company again? After the water company lost over a half million of our tax dollars we are again being asked to pay the entire debt. That would be like giving your child another credit card after they maxed out several others. This is why Egremont needs to make a change and make it now.

Wednesday, April 16


          If you weren't at the last BoS meeting you might be surprised to find that not only are the proponents of the CPA marching forward in their quest for more of your hard earned money; but they are tripling down and planning to go for the CPA max on the floor of the town meeting. What I mean is that instead of the 1% that they were originally going to ask for on the warrant, the BoS voted to place 2% on the warrant. Then the BoS assured the people present that someone would make a motion on the floor to increase it to 3%. I say all this to say that we, the opponents of this CPA tax, have to defend against this full frontal attack by the proponents. We need to defeat this measure on the town meeting floor or its going to roll right over us.
          At least we’re fighting in an open battle field now. The mask has been removed, the gloves are off and its close quarters combat. I don’t know what has emboldened these CPA people to go so far as to ask for the full amount but I’m glad they did. Now at least we are dealing with all the facts and figures in a somewhat honest manner. You had to see the twinkle in their eyes when they talked about what they wanted to do with all this money. Bruce Turner actually said that this could get a lot of the things done that we could not get approved at the regular town meetings. Bruce? You virtually admitted that this CPA tax is exactly what I called it when I first wrote about it; A SLUSH FUND FOR THE THINGS WE CANT GET THROUGH TOWN MEETING.
          Now to add salt to the wound, they still haven’t dealt with the water company. Not that this stops them from asking the taxpayers to take over the water company debt service. They’re seriously asking us to pay the entire 110k debt service and they haven’t even stopped the fiscal hemorrhaging. Many people came to the BoS meeting to see what was going to happen with the administrator. Perhaps they thought he would be fired. Well he still has his job but they did take away many more of his responsibilities. So essentially he is doing less work than ever but still receiving the same pay and benefits. Maybe they should just make it a no show job so he doesn't even have to leave the comfort of his own home. I mean should we really require him to come all the way to the office? What a bother, can’t we just send him a check? Yet they want us to take on the entire debt service.
          It seems ridiculous to me, that with these facts in hand, there is any question that this CPA tax should go down in flames. But there are still so many people deceived into thinking that it’s a good thing. The proponents will say that it is a chance for us to get some of the money that we put into the fund back to our community. The reality is that we as a community have probably put less than ten thousand into the fund altogether; based on how many houses we sell each year? However much we can get in state matching funds would be like stealing from other communities who have put in far more than we have. Is this what we have come to? Taking money from poorer communities to feed our spending habits? Shame on us if we fall for this twisted line of reasoning.

          We have to defeat the CPA tax and the Water Company Debt tax just out of principal. If either of these taxes wins we as taxpayers lose. It becomes a slippery slope to taxation on a whim rather than taxing for mutually agreed upon services. If we allow our Proposition 2 ½ protection to be thwarted at this point where will it stop? Will these tax and spenders start taxing private well owners for the water they pull out of the ground? Don’t laugh, it has been tried before and they will try it again. We have to stop this “tax first and ask questions later” trend in its tracks or soon we won’t have any protection. When you see your neighbor walking down the road, or working in their yard ask yourself, is it fair to require them to pay for your preferences? Please remember that friends and neighbors should not arbitrarily tax their friends and neighbors. IT’S JUST NOT FAIR.

Sunday, April 13


The new slogan for the CPA is that “this place matters”. I’m sure you've seen the signs out there proudly declaring that the CPA proponents believe that this place matters; and it does. However, while this slogan sounds very altruistic it also highlights one of the major flaws in the CPA philosophy; which is that the people don’t matter. These folks are so caught up in their own ether that they forgot that it’s the people that should matter, not just the place. If the people feel that they matter then they’ll take care of the place; the opposite is not true.
          I recall a comment made at a recent Finance committee meeting. This person was referring to my “friends and neighbors” post in which I suggested that we all chip in and work to help each other rather than tax one another. This person said that it was preposterous to think that in this day and age that friends and neighbors would roll up their sleeves and help their neighbor paint a barn. What was sad is that this comment was made to justify imposing the CPA tax on his friends and neighbors. I believe this person feels this place matters. Unfortunately it seems that he doesn't feel that people matter.
          I may be a little Pollyannaish in my outlook but I honestly believe that we as humans are drawn to work together toward a mutually beneficial end. Otherwise we would still be anarchists doing what is right in our own eyes. The question we have to ask ourselves is do we want to rekindle that neighborly spirit that inspires us to help one another; or do we want to just indiscriminately tax each other for our own personal wants? My personal conviction is that friends and neighbors DO NOT TAX friends and neighbors.

Sunday, April 6


          I was reading Charlie Flynn’s article in the Berkshire Record titled under “My Turn”. It’s funny how two people can look at the same event and see totally different things. It’s almost like Charlie lives in a different world than I do. Well at least mine is documented. Charlie believes he should have another three years as selectman; yet all of the reasons he gave as to why he is running are the very reasons many believe he should be replaced.