To The Daily Sun,
Que lastima? The local election results are in. The voters of Gilford have resoundingly voted to keep the Budget Committee as a vital part of local government. The voters and taxpayers recognize the value it brings to our community.
The people of Gilford have seen through the shenanigans that the petitioners tried to pull. The same can be said about the shenanigans of the contingent of people that tried to add more money into next year's school budget. Were they under any underlying pressure to petition for the increases?
In the end the taxpayers of Gilford voted at the polls not to approve the proposed budget by a significant percentage. The school administration must now operate on the default budget next year. If the contingent that put forward the increases, at the deliberative session, had limited it to pay raises for the employee's that are on the lower end of the pay scale, I'm sure the Budget Committee would have supported that gesture. But they didn't limit their request. They wanted the highest paid employees to get the larger raises plus the bonuses, too. The bonuses that have not been line item budgeted, disclosed or transparent in the past.
That brings us to the next predicament. Having served on the Budget Committee and having compared the two budgets, line by line, I know it has not been prepared accurately or in accordance with the RSA's that govern its preparation. During this year's discussion of the default budget some items were identified to the school administration. On that night the administration gave the impression to us that it was the midnight hour and they could not change the default budget. The Budget Committee voted not to push on this issue as a result of this statement. Two weeks later at a School Board meeting the same administrators told the board there was still time make changes. Does anyone really wonder why "vitriolic" discussions ensue? Is anyone foolish enough to believe that "verify" is not an essential component of "trust?"
We now begin a new administration in Gilford with a newly elected school board member and a new superintendent. Last year's chairperson was re-elected and three other members return with unexpired terms. Our elected officials are supposed to represent all of the taxpayers in Gilford. Those that have ulterior motives should not serve. The honorable thing to do now would be to go back over the default budget and put a freeze on those dollars that have inappropriately been added in. This money could go to reducing the tax burden for next year. And it would go a long way to building better relationships with the Budget Committee in the future.
David R. Horvath, Sr.