Mexico and Rumford voters
To the Editor:
To Mexico citizens and taxpayers:
I would like to address the proposed tax cap ordinance and what this could mean to Mexico. I am speaking only as the department head for the fire department.
Over the 20 years as fire chief, I've dealt with the politics and the budget cuts that have happened every year. The fire department has been cut to the extent that anymore cuts would have to be personnel. This department has no line items that are over-inflated or has hidden slush funds. You are invited to contact me at any time for a review of my budget.
During this time, the fire department fleet has been cut from three engines and a ladder to one engine and a tanker. The last three trucks have been used because I feel the town cannot afford new.
If this ordinance goes through, any major breakdowns could mean having a costly special town meeting. The funds would not be there.
If we have a high volume of calls and the pay for the call force is not there, you would need a special town meeting.
Ten percent to this department would mean a minimum of $26,000 to $30,000. It could even be higher. This cut would mean possible fulltime employee layoffs.
There are areas such as hydrant rental costs that are set by the Public Utilities Commission. That cannot be reduced. This would mean the departments would have to absorb 10 percent of that also. I am sure there are other areas as well that would mean even more.
It is no secret that there is a group of individuals who wish to do away with some departments they feel this is the way to get this accomplished. This ordinance would hurt all departments. This is not the way to do this.
I would ask the voters to vote "no" on this ordinance and also not to support anyone running for selectman who is in favor of this.
Also, to our neighbors in Rumford, you need to vote "yes" on your budget and not to support anyone running for selectman who wants a "no" vote on the budget.
Do not return the turmoil that happened a few years ago.
Mexico fire chief