To The Daily Sun,
There are some in the own of Bristol who would have you believe that the Selectboard is spending money on frivolous things and just want to raise your taxes on whatever whim we are feeling at the moment. They take every opportunity to take a matter of policy or procedure a personal issue and attempt to show the town in a negative light. Bristol has a lot to offer and every attempt should be made to spotlight the positive issues as well.
There are those who will tell you that we don't need to spend as much as we do for police, fire and highway for a town of 3,000 residents. The biggest question that leads to is when was the last time there were only 3,000 people in town? Best guess estimates for even a winter weekend is 5,000 to 6,000 and how many during the summer weeks and weekends? Twelve thousand?
A few vocal resident have made clear their desire to cut the police budget in half, to contract out ambulance service and to return to a volunteer, on-call fire department. They believe we do not need to invest in capital equipment like fire engines and cruisers and would like to sub a good portion of our police coverage to the state and county. Do we really want to wait for a cruiser to come from Woodsville?
Make no mistake, I want to find efficiencies and savings in these budgets and have made efforts to do that as a budget committee member and selectman. I don't wish to pay anymore taxes than needed. However, I think it is the height of irresponsibility to think we can slash these public safety budgets and keep residents and visitors safe and sound.
Please remember to vote March 11 and to come to town meeting on the 15. Hope to see you all.
Shaun Lagueux, Selectman