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
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.