An idea whose time has come
To the Editor:
Six months have passed without voter approval of a Rumford budget. The voters have expected cost reductions through consolidation of services, which have not been adequately addressed.
Preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of an administrative merger of Mexico and Rumford have been underway for several years without progress. Trust issues have been discussed and argued without resolution.
Now, the Rumford town manager has resigned after four years treading water without answers to the need to prepare for the inevitable loss of revenue with the downturn in the paper industry and non-existent revenue generating new businesses. Any rush to judgment to hire a new Rumford town manager is not viewed as a productive idea. Let’s take a few planned and deliberate steps on our journey.
It’s unclear how the Rumford voters will respond to the fourth, expedited, Rumford proposal to pass a spending plan (budget). They may decide to reject the budget and expect increased cooperation between Mexico and Rumford to reduce the cost of services in their respective towns.
Our River Valley region’s economic success shall only be leveraged by the infusion of fresh ideas, beginning with the establishment of truly cooperative local governments in the neighborhood towns of Dixfield, Mexico, Peru and Rumford. Dixfield has begun their journey with a new town manager and board.
Dixfield is proactively managing their efforts to develop a process improvement policy and implementation strategy to lower costs and improve their services for the residents.
It’s time for the towns of Rumford and Mexico to take the first steps on the way to an administrative and policy improvement merger to support the goals articulated by their neighbor, Dixfield. I believe the two towns will spin their wheels again unless the officials spend quality time to prepare for a meaningful discussion.
It cannot be another feel good, do nothing meeting. We have had enough of them over the past several years. Direct, honest and civil discussion is positive even when we disagree.
Since 2004, we have discussed the need to consolidate services and occasionally it is mentioned that the two towns should become one town. What about Mountain Valley? It has a nice ring to it. All of our high school students attend Mountain Valley High School.
I have submitted an eight-step process suggestion to the Mexico and Rumford town officials for their perusal and consideration.