Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Selectmen in Winchester blew it !

What really happened in 2011?

As the late Paul Harvey would have said:  ... Now for the rest of the story.

When the new Winchester Budget Committee came together in the fall to work on the town’s budget they collectively came to the table armed with the knowledge that their neighbors were relying on them to make serious cuts to the budget.
As the chairman of the budget committee, I requested that the selectman and the school board submit their requested budgets early.
The budget committee always starts with the town’s proposed budget, but we had to wait for several weeks for them to complete it.It was presented to us piecemeal, often without documentation requested, and not in order that we asked.
Several officials and employees got “hot” when we made changes or cuts to their proposed department budgets, but we forged on.
When it came specifically to the water and sewer budgets, a majority of the budget committee members wanted to put some of the money from user fees into saving for emergencies and suggested so.
The selectmen refused, insisting that they wanted to be able to spend all of revenues that would come in for the year. We did not agree with their line of reasoning, so we made approximately $40,000 in combined cuts to the budget.
Although completely segregated finances, the water and sewer departments have always been part of the town’s overall operating budget. In an unprecedented move, the board of selectmen came to the budget committee and informed us they had removed water and sewer department funds from the operating budget and were placing them on the town warrant as special articles at the higher amounts.

This left the budget committee shocked!

Clearly, this was done to override the statutory authority of the budget committee to set the base budget before deliberative session. 
The budget committee has no authority to remove articles from the warrant, or to amend the amounts in the articles, or to recommend different amounts. If the budget committee restored the funds to the operating budget, it would have been double budgeting.
Clearly that wasn’t an option. After asking numerous questions, we were informed that selectmen were basing their decision on information they had received. The committee then moved on with the rest of the proposed budget.
Before the town’s deliberative session in February, it was up to the budget committee to recommend or not recommend each of the money warrant articles.
The budget committee made some hard choices on each article. At this point, both the water and sewer were easy to decide. Since the selectmen had increased the amounts well beyond what we believed to be necessary, we could not with consciences honestly recommend them.
Historically, selectmen have paid out a great deal of money each year to get legal advice on the warrant articles. This time they either acted without advice, chose to ignore it, or perhaps even received bad advice. Simply put: They blew it!

To those people who expended the time and energy to place money warrant articles on the ballot (not tied to the selectmen), those funds are no longer approved by the Department of Revenue Administration.
This includes the E.L.M.M. Community Center and Forest Lake funding. It is unfortunate that they are the victims of the selectmen attempts to override the budget committee.

I have been told that the town cannot operate if these cuts stand as ordered by the DRA. I say if the elected selectmen who made bad decisions can’t make it work, then it’s for them to step down.

I have talked to many business owners in town and I believe that with responsible management we can make it work.

Call and let me know what you think: 239-8952.
168 Clark Road


Where Blame Belongs said...

There are many property owners in Winchester, that agree with the proceedure that the Budget Committee took. Property tax relief is long over due in town, and without it, will strangle the long term well being of the community. Had the selectmen left the sewer and water budgets where they belonged, the budget committee would have passed those budgets, and this mess would have been avoided. The blame should fall squarely on the actions of the town hall.

Its The Perception said...

When you have a selectmen and a member of the budget committee trying to sell there home you would have to wonder if the rest of us are going be able to stay in Winchester.

stupid does said...

It's was a sad day in Winchester on town election day when the voters through out the baby with the bath water when the voters fell for the selectmen trick of stacking the budget committee with their own people.

Enjoy your tax cuts this year because the new budget committee with Brian Moser and his supports being in the minority, the new selectmen hand picked budget committee will rubber stamp all the selectmen's request.

So being suckers as most people in town are....good luck….. Brian will be helpless to do anything about next years budget.

The budget crunch has cut Leroy Austin hours, put Margaret Sharra as dept head for land use with a full time position with raises and John Gomarlo with continue to bleed the town coffers.

I think there are more than one budget committee member jumping ship and leaving town, the people that know the score and have enough common sense to see the future of this town’s wasteful spending. See what happens when desent people try to help the home owners.

Each town’s dept heads operate on greed. They all want the mostest and the bestest.

Anonymous said...

Must be nice to be you Brian. You should run for Mayor since you have all the answers.

Anonymous said...

Brian wasn't the only player who should get credit for helping the selectmen to place their heads up their arss. While proving the selectmen critics are correct, they are a bunch stupid $hits. This didn't all pivot on Brian Moser head. If it wasn't for Ted Ryll and Bob Davis, Brian would have achieved nothing. It was a team effort looking out for the tax payers welfare for once.

We all know Ted Ryll can be arrogant SOB and Bob Davis can be a knucklehead, but these are the knuckleheads and SOB’s I would like watching my back and who, I want defending my tax dollars.

I would like to say thanks for the whole budget committee efforts especially Ted and Bob.

Dream Jobs said...

Another 3 day week for the chosen few, hope all you taxpayers enjoy you day at work. I support the 2011 budget committee 100%.

Anonymous said...

Because of the arrogance of the BOS we the voters of Winchester that voted and approved items on the ballot may have to do without. Seems like the BOS is taking the power away from the people. Mistakes are made...why dont they just admit it and not point the finger. Sounds like the BC will have to clean up their mess and fix it.

Anonymous said...

Last night the silent majority in Wisconsin have had enough, showed up to vote and made the difference in Wisconsin's recall of Scott Walker. Those people had enough.

At what point will the silent majority in Winchester declair they have had enough by taking the time to show up to vote all these people out of office that runs this town? Or will they stay mute. Unwilling or refusing to speak up even if it means loosing their homes to increased mortgage payments due to tax increases. I say never! I have no faith in the Winchester residents.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps your assumption there is a silent majority that is against the status quo is misplaced. Maybe the this is just what people want.... and this little blog does not fairly represent the majority rather a small number of residents. Just because it is said, does not make it truth. Just a thought.

oh really? said...

There is more truth posted on this blog than in all of the documentation and talk that comes out of town hall. Now go think about that.

Anonymous said...

Ref: Anony the above post,

With over 3000 registered voters with only less than 800 voting,! What would you call the other 2200?..... Mimes?

Wisconsin’s recall election brought out people that did not want to get involved for some reason or another don't vote. This time these people turned out and voted becasue they have had enough. They stated they were sick of it! These people are being called the silent majority.

What will it take for the citizens of Winchester to say we had enough? Next years election is crucial if we are going to start cleaning out the town hall and the school board. We must start with Sharra and Kevan Whippie if we ever will take control of our town's spending.
These two people have cost us thousand in legal fees for what. Just their own self satisfaction. Their ego!

Anonymous said...

June 7, 2012 8:57 AM

Most likely the best and most accurate comment Ive ever seen on here....Good Job

Looking Back said...

According to the latest BOS minutes posted, tonight 6/14 is the night that the NEW members of the budget committee ether back the taxpayers or stick it to us. I'm betting we get it tucked. Looking back at the unethical takeover by the NEW chairman, I don't have much faith that the taxpayers will be well represented.

Time For a New Attorney? said...

Well the New budget committee certainly caved, but the bigger problem is the bad advice the selectmen got from the town attorney. Now they are talking about raising the water and sewer rate, If I remember correctly, selectmen Gardner told the crowd at deliberative how stupid they were and with the new deal there water and sewer bill would go down.

Anonymous said...

The Budget committee blew it, should be the title Brian,
Why did the selectman feel the need to keep you out of a budget that was paid for by user fees?
Why didn't the 9.1 million B.C. school budget make it to the ballot?
Why did you not control certain members and make them behave professionally so the option of almost losing the B.C. would not have been a question on the ballot.
And why do you Brian, keep letting people use the word hostile takeover when in fact you had your year and like the other boards in town it was time for a change in officers, This is procedure not a takeover.
Our 2011 B.C. had the chance to make big change and lower our taxes but the personal vendettas, Bullying and lack of following procedure blew it for us taxpayers.Great ideas were executed poorly, hope we all learned something.

get ready for the other shoe to drop said...

Okay enough already, you have made your point that you don't like Brian Moser. Get over it. You don't have to keep posting the same crap time and time again. Here's a wake up call for you stupid, Brian is only ONE VOTE, the majority voted to do what they did because THEY felt it was in the best interest of most of us taxpayers. he did not hold the board at gunpoint, he expressed his opinions as did others, they had a vote and the MAJORITY made a decision..period. Now climb down off your banana box and go find something else to crow about.

As for the make up of the board now; it's a joke. Not one of those Selectmen backed candidates were or are qualified and the Chairperson and Vice-chair haven't a clue on proper procedure or exactly what their duties are. Hell if you attended the meeting the other night and I did. They didn't even know how to call a meeting to order or how to properly proceed with business. If you think the board was a screwed up mess before, you haven't seen anything yet. At least Brian, Ted Ryll and a few others know the score, these new clowns don't even know how to play the game.

Well-Well-Well said...

Remember how selectman Gardner told the people at deliberative how stupid they were and how with them in charge the water bills would go down. Well Mr. Gardner made a motion that was passed, to up the base rate from $20 to $30. He's right about us being stupid.