You must cut budget
To the Editor:
Mexico's first budget meeting was held on March 21.
It was opened with reference to a letter John Madigan had written to all department heads. The point of the letter was to say more or less, "any itemsd not absolutely necessary to fund your department should be taken out."
This was followed by an explanation of what would happen to Mexico taxpayers should Gov. LePage's plans all pass. To me, what this all boiled down to was if the Governor's plans passed, a Mexico taxpayer with a $100,000 home would pay $699 more in property taxes and a person with a $50,000 home would see a $349 increase.
Remember these increased are based on the Governor's plans passing. Next you would have to consider what the selectmen will be adding to increase this year's budget. For me, there are real scary numbers. Right off, my mind is saying, "You must cut. You must cut."
We start the budget process and "bingo," right with the first account presented, the selectmen approved it unanimously!
Now it is the budget committee's turn and I make a motion for $1,000 less than what is being asked. It passed 4-2.
Then comes department 4200 and the selectmen again unanimously approve! Then the budget committee does the same as we can clearly see this department has cut $2,000 from last year's requested amount, which is a good thing.
Then comes department 1200, which is salaries for office help, town manager, assessor, selectmen, etc. One of the selectmen motioned for a 3 percent hike for all fulltime workers, including fulltime part-time workers. It passes unanimously.
Now it is the budget committee's turn for department 1200. I make a motion to go look to last year's number. It is seconded but after a very unprofessional discussion, it is voted down. When I say unprofessional, I mean people were just jumping in and talking all at once. It was kind of an out-of-control meeting. Even an out of towner jumped in the discussion.
In the past, out of towners had to ask and get permission to speak. I based my reasons for no raise on what is unknown with the future of the mill and the unknown outcome of the Governor's plans.
It was very strongly brought out by Betty Barrett that our town office is overtaffed -- one girl should be cut.
That, my friend, is just the beginning of the budget process. Year after year, I, along with others, do our best to keep you informed and we try very hard to control taxes. Read and watch and make up your own minds because the bottom line is you hold all the power on voting day and it is up to you to say "no."
Your choice -- complain then not vote for what you believe or make a stand and vote.