Cut the cancerous Rumford budget
To the Editor:
After spending over 40 years doing anesthesia in the operating room, I have observed a great deal of cancer surgery.
When the cancer reaches the point that no other treatment will stop it, the doctor has to cut it out. Well, in my opnion, Rumford's budget is full of cancer and the voters need to cut it out.
Our selectmen were AWOL (absent without leave) on the budget process. They refuse to acknowledge that the town has shrunk in size and they refuse to bring the services down to a level to fit that size. The amount of money that Rumford spends on the police and fire departments is ridiculous.
We should contract with the Oxford County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement and the Town of Mexico for fire protection.
The selectmen gave all non-union employees a 2 percent raise this year, as they have done every year. As a retiree, I went two years with no Social Security cost of living raise (COLA) because the government said there was no inflation. While I did not get a raise, I was certainly obligated to pay my higher taxes to the town. My retirement pay from the hospital has not increased since 1992. Althought it was good at the time of my retirement, it is barely adequate today.
A real sign that the cancer in our budget is critical is that the Finace Committee did nothing this year; they have returned to being the rubber stamp of the selectmen. For the past four years, this committee has restored some fiscal responsibility to our budget process, but not this year. This year, they increase many of the budgets.
They actually believe that we can afford to give a quarter of the million dollars away in charity. These charities almost all receive money from me already through my state and federal taxes. And so the cancer spreads.
My wife is physically disabled and all of the equipment she needs to function we have to pay for ourselves. Recently, we had to add a ramp to the house as an alternative to the powered lift as a means of egress in case of fire or power outage. No charities came to my aid.
I'm asking all of my fellow retirees to be surgeons this year and cut the cancerous budget by voting "no" straight across the board and sending it back to those who took a pass on doing the right thing. Voting "no" does not mean you do not want police protection; it means that you do not want to spend over a million dollars to have it. It does not mean that you do not want to help the poor, it means you do not want a full-time person doing it five days a week.
Whether you vote at the polls or by absentee ballot, put on your mask, sharpen your scalpel and cut the cancer out by voting "no." If we dod not, we are going to lost the patient -- our town is going to die.