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It’s soon our opportunity to vote for or against Guilford’s proposed budget. A great way to become educated about the budget is to watch the recent Board of Finance (BOF) meetings on GCTV. Here are three things voters should know:
The proposed Guilford Lakes Golf Course budget is $283,028 (operating at a loss of $101,528). In the 2017-’18 budget, the loss was $68,445. In two years, we have increased the budget by more than $13,000 and increased the loss by more than $30,000.
This year, Park & Rec plans to purchase a garbage truck for $125,000. The stated purpose is to pick up garbage on the two weekend days our trash carrier doesn’t pick up. This is part of the defense to add an additional Park & Rec employee. Where’s the business case that makes this more cost effective than paying a carrier for weekends?
Last year, Ken MacKenzie, a BOF member, illustrated that the town wasn’t investing our funds wisely. Based on those discussions (held after Ken’s insistence), town revenues in interest income increased by $345,000. We could’ve been earning this additional interest for years. Employees looking after town finances aren’t focused on doing what’s best for the taxpayer.
As taxpayers in this beautiful town, we’re concerned with the year over year increases that appear to lack the discipline and culture of cost efficiency. We don’t appreciate our real estate taxes increasing for unnecessary garbage trucks and golf courses. Every year, to garner support for the budget, we’re told that any further cuts will threaten education or programs, but this is simply a tactic to suppress resistance.
We encourage your readers to vote “No” to the current proposed budget increase of more than 3.2 percent. This is the only way to force our town leaders to dig deeper.
Susan and Chris Anderheggen
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