On Friday, October 14, the selectmen will have a meeting at 9 AM, when most residents are unable to attend due to work schedules. That is especially troubling because the selectmen will be setting the tax rate for the coming year, something that will affect all taxpayers. The selectmen will also be reviewing budgets for:
- 4210 Police Department
- 4324 Transfer Station
- 4194 Transfer Station Building
- 4312 Highway Department
- 4240 Building Inspection
- 4150 Financial Administration-Tax Collector portion
- 4442 Direct Assistance
At the October 4 budget committee meeting Direct Assistance was a topic of discussion. Board member Tyler Philips expressed his belief that it was “stupid” to reauthorize $35,000 for Direct Assistance for next year when so far this year the town has spent approximately $1,200 (of the $35,000 that was appropriated).
According to last year’s town report, in 2015 the town appropriated $45,000 for Direct Assistance, but the actual amount spent for that year was just $4,890.
What happens to the money that is appropriated for Direct Assistance but not spent on Direct Assistance? It remains in the general fund where it is then spent on other things in following years, instead of on people who are in need. If we are appropriating money for people in need, then it’s my opinion that that money should be used only for people in need. If it is not spent on that purpose, then the left over money should be returned to the taxpayer in the form of a credit on property tax bills.