To The Daily Sun,
I am again running for a position on the Budget Committee and I hope the citizens of Sanbornton will consider voting for me.
In the time I have served I worked to minimize spending by though limiting growth of departments and voting for, in my view, what the town needs and not what is wanted.
We have a town with a population of about 3,000 with about 1,800 properties, a large percent of the town is in current use, somewhere in the 60-plus percent, which means any spending can have a noticeable impact on your tax bill. I have supported most of the road expenditures because I believe we have let them go and now we have to bring them up to standards. With improved roads we can extend the life of our police cruisers our highway trucks and improve response times of emergency services as well as lower maintenance costs and extend the life of yours and my vehicles.
I have spent my own personal money to try to inform you of positions of the Budget Committee through mailers in past years as well as participated in funding the survey the Budget Committee did recently to try to get your perspective of how you view the operation of our town.
Ralph Rathjen, in his letter to the editor, was very critical of the survey. He wrote in regards to citizens and taxpayers of Sanbornton responding to the survey, "the electorate which would ordinarily be without the detailed knowledge necessary to vote intelligent on certain budgetary problems," and he further cited some words out of a letter from the town attorney which was written upon request of the selectman when they had concerns that it would illegal for the Budget Committee to send out a survey.
I would like to quote the letter's first paragraph, to put these words Ralph took out of context in perspective: "While it may be inartfully worded, have a typo or two and yield unscientific results, I don't believe that there is anything illegal about the survey. The BC is striving to gain public input: and ultimately, it is the BC's recommendations that help create the budget for the town voters to all approve in May."
The lawyer made one error in that paragraph our town meeting this year is in March, but from my perspective I read the letter as a positive endorsement to our efforts.
The survey had about 220 responses which is at least as many that attend town meeting. In the end it is only a barometer to help the members of the Budget Committee get some perspective of the wishes of the voters and is not binding, but if it creates some discussion and causes more citizens of Sanbornton to take notice of the operation of their town and perhaps get involved we all win. So in that light I want to thank Ralph for staking out is positions and opinions.
If elected I will serve in the manner I have in the past and am always willing to listen to criticism as well I am always happy to explain the positions I take. My greatest wish is to provide the information for you to make an informed decision.
Earl L. Leighton
- Category: Letters
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