Atkinson’s Deliberative Session:
Proved yet again to validate the profound definition of “democracy”…two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner, with the taxpayer being Saturday’s meal of choice. It is forgotten that we have Constitutional restraints to the use of taxpayer money then more and more of your money is up for grabs.
I commend the 45 or so residents in attendance, mostly the same faces every year. Whether I agree with them or not, at least they participate in their Town’s governance. Non- participation limits your voice and hurts your pocketbook.
There are a number of Warrant Articles which all residents need to consider carefully. Two articles pertain to truck purchases for the highway department. Currently, small businesses are utilized, which has been cost effective and in addition have done a great job. Capitalization of the Highway Dept will be far more expensive and give us less control over quality. If a small business does a bad job they go out of business; when government performs badly, they take more money from taxpayers to “fix” the problem. In addition, do we want to create private sector jobs, or more government jobs?
There are two articles regarding waterline installation to residents with Dioxane contamination in their private wells. The first requests taxpayer funds for water line installations on the affected streets, but also requests taxpayers to pay for individual hook ups as well. The second, requests funding for individual homeowner hook ups. Atkinson is not a Municipal water town and I’m not sure how many other roads are without water lines; this could be a potential “Pandora’s box”.
I would recommend a three-way split of cost, homeowner, water company, and town, if we knew this were the end of it…we do not. Does that then make the town responsible for homes with excessive Radon as well? In addition private home hook ups is a homeowner’s responsibility, much the same as a new well or a new septic system. Read carefully and give it much thought.
Also in the Warrants is a proposed Constitutional Amendment…very dangerous ground. Granted this would not alter our national Constitution, but across the Country there is a move afoot to alter our Constitution; the man behind this movement is none other than George Soros, a man with questionable motives given his history. Altering the Constitution in this way is fraught with pitfalls. This Amendment limits free speech, thus the First Amendment. Forcing elected officials to follow our existing Constitution is what is needed and will not happen without “We the People” holding their feet to the fire: before any attempt to alter our original Document, we need to insist the Constitution be followed as written with its true intent, not as some revised “living” document.
My last comment on Warrants is Conservation Land. Are you aware that Atkinson has 27 million dollars of valuation in non-taxable land? Land donated to the town turns taxable land into non-taxable land. Second, how much land should the Town own? In my opinion, it owns enough now.
Finally, as the proposed budget was altered and raised at Deliberative Session I recommend voting for the Default Budget and keeping spending flat. Prudent homeowners live within a budget. Many taxpayers have lost jobs, taken pay reductions and are paying more for services and healthcare. Now is not the time for another tax increase. Please vote, and vote wisely.