Candidates Night February 20, 2018

Timestamps available:

0:03:15 Candidates for uncontested positions
0:05:45 Candidates for Budget Committee
0:31:13 Candidates for Board of Selectman

Published in Town Government
Max Ledoux

Author: Max Ledoux

I've lived in Tuftonboro since 2014. I grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine (the Moxie capital of the world). I run tuftonboro.net.

5 thoughts on “Candidates Night February 20, 2018”

  1. In my opinion Tom Young was the most impressive of the new candidates for town offices. It would be a positive development to see a successful, local businessman elected to the budget committee.

  2. Tom Young seems like a nice guy, but I was not impressed with him for budget committee. He basically promised to spend more money.

    I would say, if you (you in the general sense) want a budget committee that just rubber stamps whatever the selectmen and department heads want, then vote for Helen and Tom.

    Helen has not voted against a single spending increase, despite her saying she believed she had. The whole thing about budgeting from the ground up is a fiction. If it were true, then every single budget would not increase every year.* She also said by the time the budgets have gotten to the committee the selectmen and department heads have already taken care of everything , so there’s no reason to do any oversight. I am paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of what she said.

    It’s too bad Barry Ennis was not able to be there. He had a long-planned trip abroad this past week. I’m going to try to meet him next week and ask him some questions on camera so that people get to hear what he has to say, as well.

    *They did reduce one budget this year, the Gifts budget, by $150. I don’t really consider that to be fiscal prudence.

  3. Max:

    Candidates night was informative. Thank you for your input in the process. One thing I didn’t hear from any of the candidates was what can be done to significantly impact taxes and assessments. There were many pledges to to the best of my abilities to hold down costs, etc. but nothing of substance.

    My takeaway from the program is that a large portion of the budget is fixed and beyond the control of the Budget Committee and Selectman as the state largely dictates the town of Tuftonboro’s contributions for schools, retirement, etc. Thus, we are left debating appropriate benefit costs for the town’s employees (raises and health care costs) and whether we should spend money to update the town’s buildings (library and police station at the moment). I’d like to hear specifics from candidates that believe something meaningful can be done. Further, I didn’t hear any specific estimates of where tax rates are heading if all of the capital improvements are approved. Lots of gloom and doom but no specifics.

    Until I hear specifics I am in agreement with Mr. Young’s position that the town is being run efficiently.

  4. Our budgets always go up, never down. And Helen says she doesn’t need to question the selectmen or department heads because everything’s already been taken care of. I respect that you’ve come to a different conclusion than I have over what that means. I put the videos of meetings up so that people can draw their own conclusions, and that means people will not always agree with me. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts by commenting on this site, even when we don’t agree. If you ever see me around town, I hope you’ll say hello.

  5. Hi Max

    In general we are in an inflationary economy so everyday expenses tend to rise. For instance, I received my 2018 property insurance bill recently and it went up. The Federal Reserve has been doing its best for the last number of years to create inflation and this has tightened the labor market and pushed wages up (try and hire a contractor in Tuftonboro theses days, it isn’t easy). Thus, budgets also have an upward bias and Tuftonboro is no exception. On top of everyday expenses such as insurance, salaries, etc. the town is looking at some major capital expenses in the form of an expanded library and potentially a new police station. All of these factors push up our taxes.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, the above factors certainly don’t give a green light to all expenses. I’m simply asking that somebody explain to me where the waste is. We can debate whether employee raises should be 1 or 2 percent or what type of health insurance plan should be in place but in general I don’t see it. Developing a projection is really what I’m asking for. Maybe Mr. Ennis can speak to specifics in your potential interview. When looking out please don’t forget to include positive factors such as the fact the fire station will be paid in full in 2027 with many years of useful life left.

    I do plan to say hello the next time I see in you around town.

    Best,

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