To The Daily Sun,
Bristol taxpayers do you feel your taxes are too high? According to two elected members of our town government you need look no further than the Newfound Area School District's $21.8-million budget. These two town government members expressed just that sentiment at recent Budget Committee meetings.
In an attempt to set the record straight, I pointed out to one that fortunately Bristol belongs to a seven-town school district, and we are just one of these communities paying our share and our amount of payment to the school district, and our town budget were in fact pretty close in cost to the taxpayers.
Please note Bristol's school district apportioned amount according to the FY2013 MS-24 worksheet from the New Hampshire Department of Education Bureau of Data Management is $5,987,906.
It is also worth noting that the Newfound Area School District's operating budget number for last year was $ 21,775,989. The total proposed operating budget for our consideration this year is $21,802,569 which is a total gross operating budget increase $26,580 over last year.
The Bristol budget as recommended by the Budget Committee in FY2013 was $5,371,156. The FY2014 Budget Committee budget to be presented to the taxpayers at the Town Meeting this year will be $5,466,274 for an increase of $95,118. This increase is a much larger number if you compare it to the actual FY2013 Year-End expended amount which was $ 5,241,113. This basically leaves a surplus of over $200,000 of unspent money to be added to the town's unexpended fund balance.
This $200,000-plus is the amount mentioned in letters you may have read in several local papers recently. If this were a once-in-a-while occurrence I would congratulate all responsible for prudent spending. Some might think that this money might mean there would be extra money for unforeseen issues. But there is a vehicle for such occurrences as the town maintains an unexpended fund balance.
According to NH RSA 32:1 "The purpose of the Budget Committee is to assist voters in the prudent appropriation of public funds."
As stated by some running for elected positions in the town of Bristol, there seems to be a move afoot by some "radicals" to pretty much destroy our town by reckless spending cuts. I can assure you this is not my intention as a Budget Committee member. I, like several fellow members, attempted to address the budget vs. expenditure overages by proposing cuts to allow potential taxation dollars to remain in the hands of the taxpayers. Radical, doesn't seem so to me. We are concerned committee members doing what we are charged to do under the RSA noted above. I felt that this money should be back out into the local economy doing some good instead of sitting in the town coffers.
Because I see this belief in both Paul Manganiello and Andy O'Hara, I wholeheartedly endorse their candidacy for the Bristol Select Board. They will offer and even-keeled, common sense approach to Bristol's business. I also support David Carr and Kevin MacCaffrie for Budget Committee.
William "Bill" Cote