Friday March 8, 2013

The wrong way to make cuts Editor of the Reformer:

We are involved in a strange squabble. It would sound funny if it didn’t affect millions of us, middle class Americans; in addition more millions of the lower classes, too.

This squabble is about the protection of the very rich Americans among us. As the divide between rich and poor has recently become more prominent, members of the Republican party want to keep it this way. They are the protectors of the rich while refusing to increase a tax rate for those people, who live in wealth and enjoy all kinds of loopholes to not pay higher taxes as the middle class does. In other words, the burden of paying for the government with all its functions, lies heavily on us, who can least afford to pay for it. So, the government has to cut $85 billion out of its spending in services as our military to keep us safe, our healthcare as in Medicare and Medicaid, the upkeep of highways and bridges, our expenses to educate our children well, research in science and many other governmental functions. President Obama’s hands are tied as members of the Republican party give him limits in spending. Our country is in poor shape right now!

Trudy Crites

Brattleboro, March 4

Please compost

Editor of the Reformer:

Brattleboro, the one and only, first in the state of Vermont to introduce Curbside Composting. Following a very successful pilot program this past fall, composting is going townwide; it will however be voluntary and to participate, you need to sign on.


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It is expected to start sometime in April or May.

Collection will be on the same day as your current recycling/trash pickup and by composting, you will be helping the planet environmentally; saving the town money in tipping fees and haulage of trash; you will be doing something very worthwhile.

Those of you who already compost for your own garden needs, consider that many items that you may not compost are included in the new program. Check it out.

To sign up, please send your name, street address, phone number and e-mail to either: brattleborocompost@comcast.net, www.brattleboro.org, or by calling the Town Offices at 802-251 -8103.

Be a leader in this exciting new program.

Ken McCaffrey,

Brattleboro, March 4

Vote for Morel and Schill

Editor of the Reformer:

On March 12, Hinsdale’s voters have the opportunity to elect a new, dynamic selectman and return one hard-working selectman to office by voting for Joan Morel and Richard Schill.

Joan’s experience as Hinsdale’s Community Development Coordinator gave her in-depth understanding of planning, zoning, and assessing/property records, knowledge that ensures she will immediately begin working on our behalf as our selectman. Joan will quickly take an active part in exercising control over our town’s budget; she has a strategy for shifting Hinsdale’s dynamics related to expenditures and revenue. On the expenditure side she’s pushing for building a new police station that reflects budgetary constraints, partnering with neighboring towns to share expenses for services, and ending the practice of leasing equipment. On the revenue side, Joan recommends selling some town-owned land and arranging payment schedules for unpaid taxes that exceed $1,000,000.

In 2010, when Richard Schill was elected as selectman, Hinsdale’s tax rate was $26.39. Today it is $24.79, thanks in part to the fact Richard has worked hard to lower our taxes. He has consistently focused on cost savings and spending efficiencies, advocating for shorter duration bonding. Richard is impartial, unbiased, and fair.

In 2012, Richard learned that from about 2008 through 2011, Hinsdale’s auditors gave our town the worst rating possible for financial control. Richard is determined to resolve the weaknesses in our town’s financial system; voting to return him as selectman ensures he can continue to work on our behalf to improve the town’s bad rating.

On March 12, I encourage voters in Hinsdale to vote for Joan Morel and Richard Schill; our town will benefit from having both of them as selectmen.

Dorianne Almann,

Hinsdale, N.H., March 4

Another voter
for Morel
and Schill

Editor of the Reformer:

We, the taxpayers, the silent majority, have got to get more involved in the meetings, say no to some issues, or amend them to lower amounts. The taxes are too high for our community and there is nothing special to get people to stay.

We have three people running for two spots on the Selectboard. My votes are for Richard Schill and Joan Morel, so we can hope to afford to stay in Hinsdale. Our former police chief is the third candidate running. In the past he’s asked for more and more taxpayer money. As a current town employee, it seems he would be his own boss if elected.

School and town need to restrain themselves so our community will not become a blighted ghost town with taxpayers voting with their feet. It’s happened in other communities and it can happen here -- and may have already started. It seems young families with children can not afford the heavy taxes of the school and town. They’ve been leaving this area, taking their children with them and our student population has been steadily dropping.

The proposed police station of 4,400 square feet is larger than many other towns have with equal or larger populations than ours. Most towns that can more easily afford it don’t have police stations as large as the proposed one for Hinsdale. We can’t afford the $1-million plus price tag with other oncoming multi-million dollar projects such as Monument Road, additional needed wastewater/water line improvements, etc. We have a lot of bonded debt coming off the books, but why be in a hurry to load ourselves with new debt, especially for something excessive like an oversized police station?

The police say they are mostly on the road, and not in the building. They want their own meeting room when the Community Center is available ... and the Town Hall has a large room upstairs and a finished basement for meetings.

If you want to be able to afford to live in Hinsdale, my suggestion is to go to the Town and School Annual Meetings to be heard through your vote. With a School budget of $12 million and the police department wanting more than $1 million for a new building, plus a police budget close to another $1 million, it’s getting to the point of taxpayer fatigue.

Don’t get me wrong -- we need schools and police and other services, but let’s be reasonable so we don’t have to worry about losing our homes because we can’t afford the taxes. Come to the Annual Meeting on March 16 at 9 a.m. in the high school gym. Many votes are by secret ballot so no one has to be afraid.

Brian Walker,

Hinsdale, N.H., March 7

Could the Reformer do more?

Editor of the Reformer:

Why hasn’t the Reformer done a detailed investigation into the decision to site a skatepark at the Crowell Lot? The articles in the paper seem to cover the wreck without investigating the cause of the wreck. An informative article could be written covering why so many reasonable people are appalled by what has happened, and why public officials continue to stonewall public concerns to just move it along.

When will the Reformer try to get answers from public officials to the questions being asked repeatedly by opponents of this site? The school board has said repeatedly that their hearings were only to consider the effects of the project on the nearby Green Street School. The group that selected the site and approached the school board was in fact one or two individuals without any engagement in a public process. The decision to cease consideration of Living Memorial Park as a location was also made behind the scenes without public process.

Brattleboro is known for rethinking decisions and changing course. The parking garage was rejected twice, and yet there it stands. "Pay As You Throw" was approved once by the Selectboard and once by Representative Town Meeting, and yet we do not have it. The fate of the Crowell Lot is still in play and the press could play an enlightening role.

Andy Davis,

Brattleboro, March 4

Editor’s note: The Reformer has exhaustively covered the controversy regarding the siting of the skatepark. As evidence, here is a short list of stories and mentions: Sept. 24, 2007; Nov. 7 2008; Dec. 3 2009; In 2010 -- June 21, June 22, Oct. 21, Nov. 10, 2010; In 2011 -- May 31, June 22, June 23, July 8, July 19, Oct. 4, Oct. 13, Nov. 8, Dec. 3, Dec. 26; In 2012 -- Jan. 16, Jan. 25, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, Feb. 21, March 1, March 24, May 19, June 21, June 22, July 12, Aug. 4, Aug. 8, Sept. 20, Sept. 26, Sept. 28, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Oct. 26; In 2013 -- Jan. 23, Feb. 12, Feb. 16, Feb. 20.

And then there are the Letters to the Editor and guest columns: Aug. 10, 2007; In 2008 -- July 3, July 30; In 2009 -- Dec. 2, Dec. 18; In 2010 -- April 13, July 5, Nov. 18; In 2011 -- June 18, July 2, July 6, July 28, Oct. 12, Nov. 26, Dec. 5, Dec. 22, Dec. 31; In 2012 -- Jan. 25, Feb. 7, March 13, March 22, April 4, April 11, April 12, Aug. 2, Sept. 11, Sept. 14, Sept. 19, Oct. 3, Oct. 4, Oct. 5, Oct. 11, Oct. 12, Oct. 13, Oct. 16, Oct. 18; Dec. 7; Dec. 27.