Of course we discussed and debated!!!

Recently, it was stated that Board of Selectmen didn't even discuss the default budget and priorities for the town.  Well, that was not even close to being true; and the board takes running the town as it's first priority.   The board as individuals have been reviewing the resulting default budget since the March 12; when the operating budget was defeated by 9 votes. Many of the members started inquiring on different departments budgets, talking to department heads and the Town Administrator, to understand what was important; and what could be held off if needed.   The fact that we have a default budget doesn't change the need issues; as this is a business and we need to serve the community.   The resulting vote was a 50-50; 50% of the voters supported the operating budget; and 50% didn't.   So making drastic changes in the services and direction doesn't seem to be warranted; but yes we need to make small changes and continue to live within the yearly budget of around $5million.  But costs continue to increase, not by decision of the BOS in many cases; but by external factors.  The BOS continues to work to lower overall costs and maintain service levels; as that is our priority. 

It was noted that during the discussion around the replacement of the police cruisers, that I was the only member to vote against; which was because I wanted to three (3) cruisers and not the two (2) being approved.   Well that is true, because I understood the need and felt that if we didn't address it now; we would in the months to come.   Cruisers are used everyday and we are already seeing increased failures; some that have even caused delays in responding to emergencies.  The safety of our residents and officers needs to be a priority; and not addressing the issues with the assets we own is just not good business.   The town needs to run like a business; as we are in the business of serving our community.   People expect that we can respond; and not have equipment issues. 

Listen to the discussion, you be the judge; I can certainly be wrong with my priorities.  But I would much rather delay other expenditures before not addressing the issue that impact public safety.

I would like to hear from people; especially if you disagree with the course.