The only Public Hearing regarding the 2017 proposed Town Administrative Budget will be held on Tuesday February 7, 2017. Check the town’s calendar for further information.
A summary of the proposed budget can be found here. (2017-updated-budget)
The proposed budget that will be presented at town meeting could be much different, but it takes all of us to change that. The Board of Selectmen (BOS) with your input, could alter the current proposed budget before setting the Warrant for the deliberative session of the Annual Town Meeting Scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2017.
I would hope that a proposed increase of 11% would stimulate the members of the legislative body to undertake their own thorough review of the budget and have enough questions and suggestions that more than one session would be necessary.
Keep in mind with a Tax Rate Valuation of $393,000/$1000, one must cut $393,000 to lower your tax rate by $1.
Keep in mind, if the voters want more than one review session with the BOS and /or intend to submit petitioned Warrant Article alternatives to the budget, you must do so on or before the February 7th date. Statute requires that all petitioned additional warrant articles to be submitted on or before the 5th Tuesday prior to the Annual Meeting date.
Another way the legislative Body can change the budget is at the Annual Meeting. By strategically using floor motions at the meeting, not only can the Legislative Body effect the total overall budget bottom line, you can effectively send a message to the BOS on how you want your tax money to be spent on each and every line item.
A floor motion is only a suggestion of how the budget line item shall be appropriated. The floor motion cannot restrict the BOS from transferring funds from one line item to another should circumstances arise in the spending year that would require such action.
The only way to restrict line item fund transfers is by the Petitioned Warrant Article mentioned above.
Remember it is our budget! Do your homework, attend the hearings and Annual Meeting and VOTE.
The size of our current budget has been created by us. My next post will contain a review of Warrant Articles from the past…Here is just a taste from 1971:
12. To see what sum of money the Town will vote to raise
and appropriate for State Aid Construction of Class V roads.
24. To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen
to apply, negotiate and do all other things necessary
to obtain such Federal, State, or other assistance as may be
available in the construction of a sewerage disposal system,
and pass any vote relating thereto.
All that free government money…does not seem so free @$33.33 and a 11% proposed budget increase…which does not include $1.2M for the repair of Western Ave. from the bridge to town line…Exactly why did we replace that Western Ave. bridge at a cost of $1.5 M and paying until the year 2030??? DEBT SCHEDULE 2016
Merry Christmas…and for goodness sake keep looking out for one another, we here at OHB are…PEACE!
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