Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Budget Choices...

Tomorrow evening (Thursday, October 2nd) there'll be a presentation by the "Facilitation of the Community Choices Committee," followed by comments.

Maybe it's just my head cold talking (I'm extra grumpy today, and also sad), but is there really much to say? Town expenses have been rising faster than revenues, and whether that means we need to cut "unnecessary" services or pass an override to make up the difference is a judgment call. One side will say that our children will be illiterate and our streets overrun with crime if we make cuts. The other side will say that we'll drive working class people into bankruptcy if we raise taxes even a little.

Maybe I'll be surprised and the public meetings will reach a grand compromise of some sort that makes everybody equally unhappy. We'll sell the golf course and privatize Leisure Services and pass an override to fix the potholes, fund the schools, and pay for a couple more police or firemen.

The all-or-nothing nature of the budget bothers me. Couldn't we just all vote and directly express our preferences on:
1. What the total budget aught to be
and
2. How the budget aught to be split up between the various Town functions

Tally up all the votes and there's the budget.

I know, I know, that's WAY too simple to possibly work...

2 comments:

Alison said...

Gavin...

That IS how this works! We are asking people to give us their opinion on the five areas of our town's budget--Library, Municipal Government, Elementary Schools, Regional Schools, and Capital budget. Individually. You want to close the golf course and use the money to hire a few extra police officers? Great...write in this suggestion. Want to cut some services while retaining others? This questionnaire gives you the option to indicate exactly this...in more ways than one. Please log in at www.amherstchoices.org And thank you for including us in your blog.

Alison Donta-Venman, member FCCC

LarryK4 said...

Damn, somebody else wants to close the white elephant golf course and use the money for public safety!