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Article Published May 8, 2019

Annual Budget Shenanigans

By Steve Bristol

Just as the swallows return to Capistrano, our elected officials have pulled their annual budget shenanigans.

In a desperate attempt to make this year’s budget appear more appealing, the Democrat-controlled Board of Finance pulled another fast one. At its meeting following the public hearing on the budget, members proposed removing the Capital Improvements offset by fund balance amount of $1,271,200 as well as the appropriated surplus to be used for capital of $1,271,200.

Were they being fiscally responsible? No, they simply approved taking the entries from the budget. Did they move these capital improvements to the budget referendum, as they did with the bonding proposal? No, they decided to postpone a vote on it and present it as a Town Meeting item.

Why do this? They knew they’d be better able to pack a more discreet Town Meeting with “Yes” votes than obtain those votes in a referendum, whether as part of the budget vote or as a separate item. Discussion of the item shift, not included in the minutes, centered on just that.

I sincerely hope my fellow Clinton taxpayers have tired of shenanigans like this and voted “No” on both budgets. We deserve much better from our officials.

Steve Bristol
Clinton