To The Daily Sun,
An article published in The Daily Sun on Thursday, Jan. 14, requires some actual fact. The story reported that Allen Voivod, a former member of the Gilford Budget Committee, spearheaded a petition warrant article to disband the Budget Committee. Mr. Voivod claims that the Budget Committee cost more money than we save. He further claimed to have walked door-to-door, making his case to residents and asking them to sign the petition. The problem is, none of this is true.
While a member of the Budget Committee, Mr. Voivod never once expressed any desire to save tax dollars. In fact he has never once voted against any spending at all. Mr. Voivod's primary mission while on the Budget Committee was to limit debate and try to stop members from asking tough questions. The numbers provided in the article just do not add up. Most likely Mr. Voivod does not understand that governing bodies almost always adopt the changes made by the Budget Committee.
While there may be some truth to the notion that this petition was circulated door-to-door, more accurately it was classroom door to classroom door. Of the 30 (only 26 were accepted as four are not even registered voters in Gilford) signatures on the petition, 26 are School District employees. Only Mr. Voivod, his wife, brother-in-law and his neighbor are not. I have been contacted by several district employees who claim that this petition was created in the SAU office, circulated throughout the schools and that Mr. Voivod was chosen as to be the "lead petitioner" due to his notoriety as a former Budget Committee member, as well as his well-documented agenda of supporting any and all spending. The fact that the second and third line were signed by the only Gilford voters who work in the SAU office, the top line was left blank for Mr. Voivod to sign later makes this extremely plausible. It is interesting that Mr. Voivod's wife doesn't sign until after the School District employees had signed.
Let's call this what it is, a School District initiative to get rid of the Budget Committee.
Outside of the cost for the recording secretary's hours and some paper, the Budget Committee cost the taxpayers zero. We are not paid. The Budget Committee represents the taxpayers in the budget process. Just imagine what it would be like without a Budget Committee, The School District, which cannot be trusted to even produce an accurate default budget, would produce its own budget and not have to justify its spending to anyone. Tax rates would skyrocket. The mere existence of this Budget Committee causes the governing bodies to exercise some level of fiscal restraint with their budget requests as they know that if they ask for too much, cuts will be made, as in the case of this year's schools budget.
Even the words on this warrant are misleading. It reads, "shall the town vote to disband the Gilford Budget Committee, to reduce taxpayer expense and eliminate a redundant layer of government?" (Abridged version).
Do not be fooled, disbanding the Budget Committee will only send the School District on a spending spree at your expense, tax rates will climb rapidly.
- Category: Letters
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