To The Daily Sun,
Tis the season for warrant articles and budgeting for the coming year. At the last Bristol Selectboard meeting on Jan. 7, the selectmen were deciding on which warrant articles to bring to the annual town meeting. It was surprising to me that on many of these warrant articles the board was guessing at the amounts. No quotes, no estimates, no follow up with committees or department heads. Do they think the taxpayers, the senior citizens and less fortunate of Bristol have unlimited funds?
Bristol's population has not grown in 16 years yet the money needed to run the town keeps growing. This year Bristol is looking to spend over $6,000,000, including warrant articles. The Budget Committee is going through deliberations and even though some people try to reduce the budget, others keep raising taxes. Here is one example, "overtime" (OT), which for all departments is $116,000 this year. This is 38 percent higher than what was budgeted in 2010. Sure there is a need for OT, but be realistic and find ways to manage and reduce it and not increase it. The Budget Committee is the watchdog for the taxpayer, to make sure government gets what they need and not all they want.
This is one example of many of a budget that is getting out of control, which Bristol's elected officials are passing along to the seniors and families that are struggling. This is also being passed along to the people who have no vote because they own property in Bristol but it is not their primary residence. Hmmm, this sounds like taxation without representation!
For the past six years there has been on average a surplus of $185,000 every year? This is money that was not spent, but we have been taxed on. Where do you think this money goes? Well, it is automatically added to the unreserved fund balance, which by the way has about $900,000 in that account. This is the taxpayer's money, not a slush fund, keep what is reasonable and give the rest back.
Do you think Bristol's budget out of control? Your vote really does count so come out and vote. Go to a town meeting and make your vote count there as well. Vote the special interest groups and spenders out of office and let's make Bristol a place where all people can live and prosper.
- Category: Letters
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