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Tough decisions will make Bristol more affordable & attractive

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

As you attempt to balance your household budget, Bristol is proposing burdening you with more taxes to add to your already overworked checkbook.

Consider all the costs that we must account for: Gas for your car, fuel and utilities, food, rent or mortgage, insurances etc., etc. These are costs that we have little control over. But as a Bristol voter you do have a say about your tax bill. You can vote. By voting you have a voice to determine what direction Bristol should be focused on. Your vote will be between adding more taxes or stemming the rise in the budget.

In us asking to "we need to control budget spending," is somehow being equated to returning to some yesteryear, or it will result in us cutting our police and fire departments in half, is completely false. Also, in a recent letter someone did some sort of averaging to justify our present budget. That would be nice if we all could average our yearly income. But the truth is the underlying result of the past several years, is that taxes have gone up without regard to who's paying the bill. Don't you think we taxpayers could use a break?

As an example, there are ways we can provide some relief to constantly raising taxes and at the same time allow for new equipment. This all can be done within the framework of the budget and there is no need to raise taxes.

Recently at our Budget Committee meeting a request was made to cut $50,000 from the police budget, a police budget totaling $1 million. This was narrowly rejected. This budget reduction from this department if passed, could possibly be used to support other departmental requests for necessary equipment replacement.

Somehow by asking for this reduction is tantamount to slashing a police department in half. By taking this prudent approach, the town could vote to utilize funds to purchase that new dump truck being asked for, and in the two years, be able to support a new fire department pumper truck lease agreement. This is but one example of working within our town budget that would help in relief for our taxpayers. Only with the right people on the Selectboard making these decisions can this be accomplished.

We need leaders that will make the tough decisions that may or may not be popular, but are necessary in order to make Bristol a more affordable and attractive place to live.

We need to address our budget sensibly and not have candidates putting out misleading information to the public, such as wanting to cut the fire and police departments to some bygone era. We need to vote in selectmen who will work together and do what is right for the good of all Bristol's citizens.

This is why I am supporting Paul Manganiello and Andy O'Hara to do the job prudently and have the experience to manage our town. Remember to vote on March 11 (Election Day) and March 15 (Town Meeting).

Ernie Richards