Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order without a Council vote, it seems we are lacking transparency.  The raise granted to the DPW Director elevated his salary to $93,000 while we are still suffering from the effects of the winter.  Now today, we sit without a person in this critical position as the Director gave notice shortly after getting his raise, while there is much work yet to be done from the harsh winter.  

Making matters worse, on the night of the budget vote, the Council was given budget amendments totaling $250,000 which changed line item appropriations without any time to examine and review before their vote.  All Council members, but one, fell in line to vote in favor of increased taxes and reduced services.

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Raises granted by executive order, dangerous park conditions still existing from a harsh winter, roads in desperate need of repaving and potholes creating dangerous driving conditions are sadly more the norm rather than the exception. Our recreational areas have become an afterthought, sprouting weeds in our infields and plaguing our children’s sports teams. Upgrades are desperately needed.

This budget has raised many questions.  Do any of our elected officials actually see what we see as residents and taxpayers?  What are we getting for our tax increase?  How can they defend this budget to the taxpayers in town who feel that services are being mismanaged?  Or is our government just tone deaf to what is really happening?       

Thankfully, a single lone voice recognized these problems. If Town Hall is going to change we must begin somewhere, thanks to Susan Poage, we have hope for real change.