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.