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Taxpayers won’t be served by eliminating Budget Committee

To The Daily Sun,

I urge Gilford residents to vote "no" on Article 30 and keep Gilford's Budget Committee.

Despite the case made by Mr. Butler and Mr. Voivod that it is a waste of time and money, nothing could be further from the truth. Having been involved in Gilford's budgeting process this year, the one thing I heard again and again was this one question: "Will this make it past the Budget Committee?"

That alone tells me the various department heads took a second or third look at their budget request line items to determine whether they would pass muster. That one question alone helped save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Thinking the Selectboard or School Board could devote the amount of time needed to parse every single line item again and again to the level the Budget Committee has is magical thinking at best.

Do we really want to try this experiment of doing away with the Budget Committee, only to see town and school spending increase at unsustainable rates? Removing another set of eyes that may catch things others may have missed (or ignored) never leads to better control over spending. It leads to just the opposite with less oversight and, in the end, more "nice-to-have" spending that morphs into faux "need-to-have" spending.

What purpose does eliminating the Budget Committee actually serve? Certainly not that of the taxpayers of Gilford.

Dale Channing Eddy

Gilford

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Vote ‘yes’ on Sanbornton scrap metal

To The Daily Sun,

During the Sanbornton Town Meeting on March 9, voters will decide on Article 12 which states: "To see if the town will vote to establish a fee on items removed from the town's metal pile located at the Transfer Station. Fees on metals being removed shall be reimbursed to the town prior to removal from the Transfer Station. Fees are to be established by weight and current scrap metal market value as established from time to time by the Board of Selectmen and deposited in the town's General Fund. Such fees are established to insure equity among all town residents."

Some background is in order to explain the proposed article. The town derives revenue from both property taxes and fees, such as Transfer Station fees for disposal of waste. The town also generates revenue from the recycling activities of the town and the sale of scrap metal from the town's metal pile.

The special Town Meeting of Dec. 18 was called to see if the town would reopen the swap shop at the Transfer Station. During the proceedings, a motion was made and passed to reopen the metal pile. During the time the metal pile was closed late last year, the revenue to the town from scrap metal sales increased significantly. Items deposited to the Transfer Station's metal pile are owned by the town.

Currently the town has assigned a zero value to these items, which would otherwise generate revenue to the town. Furthermore, because there is no assigned value to the metal, the town cannot stop an individual from picking through the metal pile and taking these amounts to a scrap metal operation for individual gain. This change would deter picking for individual gain and place all town residents (pickers and non-pickers alike) on equal financial footing. Surely items removed for personal use are of greater value to the individual than the mere scrap metal value so this article preserves the metal pile's benefit to the town residents.

If Article 12 passes your property taxes will be lower. This article preserves the long-standing tradition of the swap shop and metal pile and directs the deserved revenue of the scrap metal to the town for the benefit of all residents.

Ralph Rathjen
Sanbornton

  • Category: Letters
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