Boy, recuperating after last night’s meeting has not been very pleasant. I have that foggy headache from being up way past my bedtime which makes thinking a slow process. How to explain last night’s town meeting and why it was such a long drawn out argumentative allocation of town money for the annual budget? Essentially, our fiscal history is quite embarrassing, since 2003 our books have not reconciled completely, the past three years have been dismal, the town has been negative free cash for these years, we are broke. The issue at the heart of the economic matter is that the three financial officers, the treasurer, accountant and tax collector, all elected positions of three years, have somehow over a long period of time not reconciled the revenues and expenses to the extent that the outside accounting firm engaged to do a turn over audit, told the townspeople that our books have become inauditable. Last night, the finance committee recommended that the town vote to put monies aside in two separate accounts to be kept in reserve for emergency purposes, there was so much arguing and haggling over the amounts, it got worse. When the subject of setting aside a certain amount of money to be used to have help in recreating the fiscal books from the prior decade, there was a huge resistance at the usefulness of the said project. Yet the towns people weren’t happy with the limited resources that they are left with since our town refuses to accept responsibility and accountability. It is tragic and demoralizing, they have been given a recommendation by the finance committee and by the state’s Department of Revenue to invest in putting their fiscal books in order and the townspeople were arguing against it. My brain started to check out and I have many doodles, some of them quite lovely, to prove the shutting down of any intellectual processes left in my head after driving back from Boston just to attend this illustrious town meeting. Anyway, it is done, my civic duty satisfied and tomorrow I will arise refreshed after a good nights sleep.
I have written a fair share of posts railing against the political process and particularly against the republican party in its present day incarnation but I am always blown away at how nasty politics can get even at the local level. My small town government is preparing for its annual town meeting. Essentially, that means every department needs to have their budget ready for review, the finance committee needs to have their reports ready in order to answer any questions from the constituents. This process has spawned so many rude e-mails directed against my hubby, the current chairman of the board. In particular there was one that was written by the school district superintendent, who impolitely told my hubby to cease with the sermons from his exalted position. This rudeness came from my hubby asking the superintendent to recuse himself from being the moderator of the annual town meeting since the school budget and its vote will take place during our town meeting. My hubby felt that him being the superintendent and serving as moderator constituted a conflict of interest since the school budget includes his salary and yearly raise. My hubby asked the superintendent in a brief e-mail, after consulting with town council, to recuse himself because of the conflict of interest. I read what he had written and it wasn’t disrespectful or dismissive. The superintendent apparently chose to take it personally. I find it sad that my hubby, acting in the interests of the town, gets told off by a school official. It makes you wonder how people want to be in politics because this isn’t an isolated incident. My hubby isn’t alone in getting insulted or yelled at, the other selectmen have had their share of unpleasantness. People in political life need to have tough skin.
Name three advantages that kids born these days have over older generations.
March 28, 2012 by Laurieanichols
We have medical advances happening everyday.
Access to information is broader and can take you however far you need to go
Smoking cigarettes has completely lost its glamour
I would argue too much reliance on technology
War is become something less well-defined
Education and health care are outrageously expensive
Election 2012 button
I will most certainly vote this year, voting is a right, a privilege and a responsibility. The last time that I voted was this past January for our Select Board elections in my small town of Blandford. The Select Board of our town is similar to a Council Board, they are the executive officers of our community.