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Letter: Town Needs to Live Within Its Budget

To The Editor,

Ellen Scalletar recently published a letter in the bulletin commending herself on what a fiscally responsible leader she is. She is certainly entitled to her opinion, but keeping revenues and expenses even only works if you live within a budget, not when you keep raising taxes. My own taxes, over $13000 annually, were just $8000 when I bought my house in 2000. Same house.

She has made the sale of the CCW the focus of her tenure, or I might say the lack of focus. She has repudiated her civic responsibility to preserve town assets by essentially walking away from the clubhouse. She has used the inflated repair estimates of Silver, Petruzelli as her benchmark to support her case that we can’t afford to rehab the clubhouse, despite the more reasonable numbers of Herb Newman, who designed the club and lives in town. Check out his figures on the town website, under future of CCW and preliminary budget report on CCW options. He calculated $632,000 to get the clubhouse repaired and rentable. BCG figures a $350,000 revenue stream from a food and beverage service.

Ellen, by deciding to hold out on a contract with BCG, has essentially killed their business, preventing them from booking over $200,000 in golf outings. They have been a good partner with the town, and have resuscitated several golf courses in the state laid waste by MDM golf. They deserve better.

But the saddest part of this whole fiscal responsibility fiction is that the six year capital improvement budget has $22,000,000 in bonding. Run up the credit card and send the taxpayer the bill. And the waste in that budget is incredible. $5.2 million for police station improvements, $1.1 million for rehabbing the old firehouse, $1m for building a new firehouse garage to contain all the stuff taken out of the old firehouse. That’s over $7 million to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Ellen still believes she is fiscally responsible. I am just presenting the facts.

If you want to be appalled, go to the finance department at the town website and pull up the budget. Look especially at the last section which contains the capital budget, which was never presented at the town budget meeting because the democrats were told to stay home, preventing a quorum. Remember that if you sell the club, that is what you will get and I guarantee that the next budget meeting will also fail to have a quorum.

David Lober M.D.

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