Last night the Board of Selectman along with the Budget Committee proposed 7% in reductions to the 2015 town budget. This amounts to a decrease of $250,000 from what was requested, and reduced the operating budget $147,000 from $2.10M to 1.96M. These cuts will deeply affect our three largest departments, Police, Fire and Highway. Should the budget pass, the Highway budget would be reduced by $220,000, meaning less road reconstruction, putting the Road Advisory Committee’s plan even further behind. The Police would not be purchasing a replacement cruiser, a $24,000 savings, instead running and maintaining the entire fleet one year more than anticipated. The Fire Department would not be replacing their oldest ambulance, a model year 2000 which will have been in service for 14 and now 15 years, how many of you have vehicles you depend on that old?
The driving catalyst behind these cuts was our ever increasing tax rate (see http://chichestertaxpayers.com/?p=415). These cuts were not seen as “wants” or “nice things to have”, they are legitimate needs and pain will be felt by the town in their wake. That being said, we felt a need to address our tax burden and the amount to which it costs people to live in Chichester.
Here lies the problem, these cuts affect your taxes by a little over $1.00 per thousand, or $250 a year on a average home. We cannot do this alone, we need the School Board to be part of the solution and do their part to reduce their budget as well. I’ve asked the Board of Selectman to approach and work with the School Board to that effect. No longer can the Town and School work in a vacuum independently of each other. We cannot balance the tax rate on the town budget alone, especially noting that the School’s budget is almost 3 times as much. Should the School Board do their part and enact similar cuts, it would turn that $250 savings to $1000 for the average tax payer.
I encourage all that can to attend the School Budget workshop tomorrow night @ 5:30 at the school (see http://chichestertaxpayers.com/?p=480), if you cannot attend please call or email the School Board Members and express your desire for them to reduce their budget in similar fashion to what the town as proposed.
Benjamin Brown Harold Losey, Jr. Sally Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org (603) 798-4116 (603) 798-4055 (603) 798-5806