It is that time again. Time for everyone to come out and vote (March 8) then the next evening (March 9) come to the school meeting and the town meeting for voting on warrants and budgets.
There are a couple of things you should know about and be prepared for.
First, our town planning committee has been doing some magnificent work. Digging into the archives, finding out what some of our bequeathed property has for restrictions on uses or what it is intended for. The Sullivan Planning Board is conducting a survey to get input from townspeople regarding the use of public outdoor areas in town. It’s a short questionnaire and it will be handed out Election Day on March 8 at the Town Hall. Click here to view a copy of the survey. If you want to fill it out ahead of time you can download the PDF file and print it out or pick a copy up at the town hall or library. All surveys should be returned to the Town Hall no later than March 31.
So, no excuse for not filling it. Trashing it will not help anyone. Filling it out will make your preferences known.
Now onto the second issue. This is only MY opinion, if others hold the same or different opinions I will be happy to publish them if they are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. No swearing or name calling allowed.
Most of you know I have only lived in town for a little over two years and March of 2015 was the first time I attended town meeting or voted in a Sullivan town election. I ran for library trustee and am proud to say all 87 of the folks that voted, voted for me (I am not going to go down that rat hole about 87 people voting out of over 500 people). Thank you but you may have created a monster. I am very happy being a library trustee and have no desire to give it up. But in addition to that, I am asking you to write me in for a position on the Budget Committee..Here is why I want to be on the budget committee and I hope it is understandable.
This morning in the on line version of the Sentinel the following was posted:
Budget proposal: $247,951 up $24,176, or 10.8 percent, from the $223,775 budget Sullivan voters approved last year. The proposal does not include the proposed operating budgets for municipal services, such as $370,949 for the maintenance of town highways and bridges, as well as special projects; $73,665 for public safety; and $22,659 for culture and recreation.
This paragraph reminds me of my ex husband. I would ask him if something was done and he would always answer “Yes, BUT I still have to….” Either it is finished or it is not. In the above paragraph, I would ask is the $247,951 the budget we will vote on. The answer appears to be yes, BUT the proposed operating budgets for municipal services, such as $370,949 for the maintenance of town highways and bridges, as well as special projects; $73,665 for public safety; and $22,659 for culture and recreation are not in there. The school budget is not in there either as it is voted on separately but it is still voted on. 10% does not reflect the actual tax increase you will be responsible for. Do not be mislead.
(If I am misleading anyone, please let me know and I will issue an apology immediately)
Now, I could be very wrong and I am sure someone will let me know. But I for one would like a total number of how much money (school and town) we will be asked to spend in the next year. You will get that at the town meeting when you look at the overall budget requests. Of course some things are a rolling target – we don’t know exactly how many students we will have next year but somebody made a guess, so share the guess. The road crew may have less work after this mild winter but maybe this is the time to attack a few more roads. So give them a little more money. Voting yes on everyone of the budget line items and warrants is your choice. Vote yes on some, no on others, ask for an amendment, vote no on everything but VOTE.
Come to the town meeting. Look at each line item. If it doesn’t make sense to you, ask questions. Someone will thank you cause they did not ask but wanted to. Trust me, everyone has questions. I ask questions all the time.
Participate in your town. Meet others who are participating. Do something that will make you feel good.