View on proposed Rumford budget
To the Editor:
Prior to the budget process the board held a meeting with the department heads to discuss our fiscal situation.
There was a suggestion that the departments develop budgets that represent cuts. While they may have cut certain line items, the majority of the department budgets represent an increase.
Despite being aware of the situation at the mill, the proposed LePage shift of costs through withholding educational funding and revenue sharing, changes in the equipment tax reimbursement, and other factors, our board chose to recommend a budget that presents an increase for the taxpayers.
I found this unacceptable, and believe we need to send the budget back to the board. Doing so will not jeopardize public safety. We will still have the same police, fire and ambulance protection during this process.
As for the Building Maintenance Code; prior to it being drafted, they were warned to not create a code that would be overly authoritarian. Unfortunately, they decided to present just that. I, too, am disgusted with the dilapidated and abandoned buildings in our town. I also am ashamed of the condition in which some properties in town are kept. I want to live in a community of which we all can be proud, but this Building Maintenance Code is not the solution.
Please be aware that the Initiated Article for River Valley Growth Council funds a 10-hour a week position (perhaps only seven hours at the reduced rate recommended by the Board of Selectpersons). This position is the "only effort" our town has for bringing jobs and businesses to town. For this reason, I recommend that this item be passed.
Luckily, we the people still have the final say on the budget. If we had a town council form of government, they would make the decisions, and we would have to petition to overturn their decision. I am glad that we don't run our town like we do our state and nation.
Please remember to vote either in advance through the absentee ballot process or in person on June 11th.