Mild Musings About The Town Budget - Listers Budget

The budget approved by the Selectboard, to be voted on by residents at Town Meeting, is less than one percent higher than last years budget, which is pretty good in the abstract. Before getting too far away from the process, thought I post some impressions. This one is about the Listers Budget.  See the other posts on Claudette's List and Storm Damage Debt.

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The Selectboard cut the Listers' budget by $27,000 eliminating money for a town-wide reappraisal to be completed in 2019. In essence, the Selectboard changed the reappraisal cycle from three years to five years.

What struck me as strange about the decision was that it was made without consulting the Listers.  Two Listers and the Town Clerk spoke against the move at the January 10 meeting, saying the Town would lose two-thirds of work already done and paid for. Selectboard member John Langhus disagreed saying that if the Listers wanted to do a reappraisal in 2019, then they could ask for the money next year. Mr. Langhus is technically correct; the Listers can always ask for money. However, because the Selectboard is reserving funds on a five year cycle, it makes funding sooner an uphill battle. No Selectboard member questioned the cut. 

I am all for eliminating unnecessary spending. But this cut seems uninformed.


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