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More participation in budget process yields better government

To The Daily Sun,

I am running for the Bristol Budget Committee March 8, and I am asking for your vote. Having retired this past April, I have more time to give back to the town's budgeting process. With my experiences of delivering budgets of $18 million to $83 million, I hope to lend my skills to our Town of Bristol.

Hearing about the public meeting for the 2016's proposed budget at the library, I made three observations

while attending:

First was the great work done by all the departments to return some $300,000-plus budgeted tax dollars back to the Town of Bristol from the 2015 budget. I am sure this took planning and thought to accomplish, and I want to thank all the public workers for their participation in this saving on behalf of all the taxpayers.

Second was the number of empty seats. While I want to thank those who were there, we missed seeing greater participation in our town of 3,000 voters. I believe that greater participation in the budgeting process yields greater results for our community. Participation in local government is a privilege and responsibility for all. Your voice matters. I want to encourage everyone to attend our March 12 Town Meeting.

Last, but not least, the estimate of projected revenue for 2016 was not available from some of the department managers. This would aid the citizens of Bristol to know that this revenue is being employed to offset the proposed budget increases. Also, there are 21 additional warrant articles requesting even greater increases. If they all pass, they shall add about 10 percent to our taxes on each and every voter.

I did voice my disappointment that the Select Board and the Budget Committee have not be released unspent funds back to the owners of these funds, we the taxpayers. Instead, the Budget Committee proposed an even higher budget for 2016 by another $100,000-plus as compared to 2015 spending. They also have proposed putting the additional $200,000 of savings from 2015 in an unreserved bank account.

This brings that account up to $1.2 million. The reason is the pending lawsuit against several towns, including Bristol, for over-taxation.

I believe some of this money should be returned to the voters. Please vote for me March 8 for Budget Committee.

Wayne Anderson


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Pro-life stance isn’t limited to specified Christian groups

To The Daily Sun,

Every life matters. In response to Mr Cracraft's editorial in the Feb. 11 issue of the Sun, it appears that he assumes much about the pro-life movement that isn't correct.

First of all, the March for Life Rally and March in Washington, D.C., is pro-life and is not any kind of anti-choice gathering. Participants do say, if your pregnant, it is a child. But within the current law of choice, we advocate choosing life. That's simple. That's pro-life.

Mr. Cracraft fails to acknowledge that a "pro-life" stance is not reserved for Catholics, women, conservative fundamentalists, and evangelical Protestants. Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, Jewish people, and even pagans may be pro-life, and yes, men can also be pro-life. Anyone with a clear conscience and positive mental attitude would understand the horror of an abortion. Life begins at conception, and an unborn baby continues to grow from then on in infinitesimal increments before and after birth.

Mr. Cracraft focuses on Christian ethics and morals. What about ethics, period. How ethically right does he think it is to kill a baby? An ultrasound of a 20-week unborn infant certainly shows a living human, and that life is beautiful and precious. Please don't abort.

Harry Mitchell

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