Monday, March 30, 2015

Town puts out call for budget advice

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff
WINCHESTER — Selectmen have decided to appoint a financial advisory committee after voters opted to dissolve the budget committee earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the budget committee’s former chairman, Brian Moser, said Thursday he questions if residents knew what they were voting on at the March 10 town meeting.

Voters decided, 299-248, against keeping the budget committee, which was established at town meeting in 1935.

The warrant article, which was amended at the deliberative session in February, made no mention of the budget committee. Instead, it asked voters if the town will continue honoring Chapter 32 of state law. The provision allows for communities to establish budget committees.

“I think nobody understood it,” Moser said. “But the way it was written is apparently legal, so there is not a whole lot I can say about it.”

The original warrant article asked voters to “rescind the provisions” of Chapter 32, and included a sentence saying that an affirmative vote would abolish the budget committee.

The committee was tasked with setting the town’s annual operating budget, but with the group disbanded, the responsibility now falls to the selectmen.
Selectmen Chairman Roberta A. Fraser said Thursday the board voted unanimously on March 18 to appoint the five-member financial advisory committee that will function similar to the budget committee.

“It kind of keeps the checks and balances still in place,” she said.
The biggest difference is that the advisory committee won’t have legal standing, she said. Also, she noted residents will be voting on a budget crafted by selectmen, not a committee specifically formed for that task.

Tell us all how that keeps checks and balances in place Roberta, if : #1) the BOS CHOOSES who's on this committee and ..#2) The committee has no legal standing
Fraser said she hopes the advisory committee will be in place by June, as the budget meetings start in late summer and culminate with voting the following March.
Anyone interested in serving on the committee is welcome to contact the town hall, she said.
Moser said he hasn’t decided if he will put his name in for the committee. He added he is concerned that

 only the selectmen and school board are empowered to put a budget before voters.
“I think the taxpayers will lose some protection from overspending and bad choices that they would have had with the budget committee,” he said.

It’s too early to say if there will be an article on next year’s warrant to bring back the budget committee, he said, but he believes some interest exists among residents to restore the committee.
Moser said he’ll be interested in what the selectmen’s 2016-17 proposed operating budget looks like, and how well the board does in managing the 2015-16 budget.
“There is no way to guess until they do it,” he said.
Meghan Foley can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or Follow her on Twitter @MFoleyKS.


time to move said...

The only people they'll choose will be the ones who they know will go along with whatever spending they want to approve and besides, what good is a toothless committee anyways? WE ARE SCREWED !!!!

Thanks to all you non voting morons and you scumbags that voted to remove the only hope we had in keeping our taxes down, nice going.

Kind Of--WOW said...

It KIND OF keeps the checks and balances still in place? Maybe it would be good if NO ONE applied to be her lap dog. Would like to read her comments to the Sentinel if that happened.

we're watching said...

Why do they vote this woman as chairman and spokesperson for them. She's about as fiscally responsible as a 3 year old. She didn't pay her property taxes or make mortgage payments and lost her home but could take her kids on trips and vacations. There's rumors floating around she's living rent free in town property and lots of suspicion on why she left her job in Fitzwilliam. Not all of us can have the wool pulled over our eyes. Last person I would trust with my money.

Linder said...

For one the rumor has it Roberta lived free in a house the town took for taxes on 100 Michigan Street until the bank owned property taxes were caught up to date.............a Perk or a felony?

Anonymous said...

If you are worried about Roberta, I would be more concerned with about another board member owing over 19K (The total due on this page is $19,344.32) Yup our BOS and the town just elected him, he also sat on the budget comm. Then you wonder why....................

responce to town hall chatter said...

If you run into this person, ask him why he still owes back taxes, might surprise you, it didn't me.

Anonymous said...

It's doesn't make a difference why he/she owes they owe the town the money period. If you can't afford to own property then SELL it also period. If I owed that much money for that many years the town would have taken my property, period. How can they be impartial to other issues when they owe? They can't period.

Anonymous said...

Let's be fair people he is not the only one that owes back taxes. At least he is trying to catch up. There are some in this town that are purchasing extra vehicles for enjoyment and have not paid their taxes. I do believe that if he is on the board he will do his best to reduce the taxes in this town as after all he has to pay them too. Obviously, it has been a struggle for more people than the former board realized.
Perhaps we need a Director of Public Works to control the mismanagement in the highway department. Food for thought. When is the culvert on Burt Hill going in it is a safety issue?

Anonymous said...

When is the culvert on Burt Hill going in it is a safety issue? When Hell freezes over!!

Anonymous said...

If we are talking about the new elected BOS, and back taxes, it is interesting that he is very involved with racing at Monadnock Speedway with his son, you cannot tell me that it is cheap to keep maintenance up on a race car, blown motors, tires are not cheap.