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On the face of it, embracing a town budget with increases that will cost most of us more is never an easy decision. Investigation reveals that there is good reason to support the current proposal.
This is a budget that, in the main, addresses our current situation without resorting to temporary, feel-good devices such as terming out debt for our grandchildren to pay, or deferring maintenance that costs more in the long run. The increase is mainly from contracted salaries. There is a jump in debt service from construction of our high school, but at least that debt was borrowed at record-low rates. There are no unreasonable requests from any town department in the budget.
Our responsibility as a successful town in a challenged state is to maintain our standards while continuing the drive toward value for money. It is up to us to address the errors of mismanagement in Hartford; we can only expect less of our income tax dollars back in Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grants and other forms of support.
Guilford is the envy of its peers due to its quality of life. Much of that comes about from its transparency in governance, good management, and—certainly—dedicated volunteer board and committee members, without whom our costs would be significantly higher. I support this budget as a reflection of the cooperative nature of our culture and character and will vote “Yes” on April 9.
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