This post sets forth the responses of the Selectboard candidates running for for the two-year seat on the topic of the Town budget. See this post for the responses of candidates for the three-year seat. [The five-question Questionnaire is here. The budget question is the last one.]
Budget. The Selectboard sent to the voters a FYE 2020 Town budget of $4,271,793. Although the amount of the budget declined by about 5%, the property tax rate [without the separate monetary Articles for various nonprofit organizations] is projected to increase by 1.51%. For John and Linda: How did you vote on that budget and why? For Doug and Roger: How would you have voted on that budget and why?
I voted for the budget. We worked hard on the budget this year. We really dig deep into the various categories of spending to understand how our spending was matching up with our priorities. We found that we had over-saved for several things over the last several years so that we could responsibly find the emergency costs from the July 1 storm without cutting short any key priority and also without raising the budget from last year.
I would have voted for more reductions in expenses, controlling taxes, and earning more interest off the Town’s reserves.
Last year, the Town approved the purchase of a new truck for one of its departments. In order to be fiscally prudent and environmentally conscious, could we not have hybrid or electric Town vehicles? This would reduce fossil fuel usage and save on gas expenses.
Other expenses should be reviewed each year to ensure that the Town is spending wisely and in the most cost-effective way. I’d like to see the Finance Committee work more closely with the Town and utilize the expertise of these Committee members who have professional experience in finance.
A candidate forum, sponsored by the Norwich Women's Club, is scheduled for Tuesday February 26 from 7-8:30 pm. The meeting has been moved to the new training room at the fire station. Per the Chief of Police: There is limited parking at the Public Safety Facility. Please try and ride with someone and please do not park on Fire House Lane or park as to obstruct Police or fire department vehicles from coming and going.