No more kicking the can
Editor of the Reformer:
As a resident and property owner in Brattleboro I am writing this letter out of frustration. The town has been studying the issue of fixing or replacing the fire and police facilities for many, many years. I am not sure of the figure, but we have spent a lot of taxpayer money on plans, studies, etc., for the facilities. And, lo and behold, we still don't have any progress. It is obvious we need ... no, we have to do something now. As the years go by, the cost of these "fixes" get higher and higher. It's time to step up to the plate and "just do it." Yes, taxes will go up, but when have they not gone up? These projects are important not only for the town and its residents but for the employees who put their lives on the line every single day. I applaud the restraint of the police union in this matter. Because one call, one letter, to VOSHA officials, would bring down some heavy fines on the town of Brattleboro, whose lack of action equals willing violations of health and safety laws. All that being said, it's time to stop studying, stop kicking the can, stop procrastinating, and just do what needs to be done to make our facilities safe and our town proud. I understand costs, we all do, as we are home owners, business owners, etc.
We all know the problem: lack of revenue. Well, whose fault is that? I read an article in the Reformer regarding a report issued by the Economic Development Task Force indicating counties in southern Vermont need an economic plan. Wow, really? Who would have believed that? Yes, that's a little sarcasm there. But seriously, the lack of manufacturing, the lack of businesses, the lack of a solid tax base is killing this town. It's time to end business as usual and create some real jobs with real wages. I have nothing against nonprofits, they do great work and provide services, etc., to residents, but nonprofits do not pay taxes. We need to change our mode of operation.
I urge both Democrats and Republicans running for elected office to reveal their specific plans to bring manufacturing to Brattleboro. I love this town. I was born and raised here.