Letters to the Editor
Selectmen should do their executive jobs
To the Editor:
With regard to your article last week concerning the debate over the budget in Oak Bluffs, I would offer a few comments:
If a town's budget really can be influenced by notes pinned to kindergartner's shirts to sweeten the school's allocation, then perhaps highway allocations can be restored from reductions by similar notes pinned to vehicle owners. And there are other priorities out there too: the employees, the police, the harbor. Should each vested interest wear color-coded notes around town and at town meetings? All departments worth keeping are important, each in its own way. All should swim together, and live within their means. The financial tide rises; the financial tide falls.
If this means zero increases and no new hiring for town employees, it also means that the taxpayers should be spared notions of overrides and debt exclusions for the extraction of ever more money. The state of the economy is compelling; we all must learn to live with it. Oak Bluffs has a finance committee that works hard to exercise its good judgment, and offers a balanced budget. Voters should support them.
But the proposed town meeting warrant appears to propose otherwise.
I think the voters deserve better than this. They deserve a balanced budget to be prepared, agreed to and presented at town meeting. Bickering over details, individual salaries and inter-departmental trade-offs becomes emotional, unattractive, and needlessly time-consuming at town meetings. Now is the time for the selectmen to do their jobs.
Meantime, it has been announced that town elections follow town meeting by a mere two days. Let's all do our civic duty, and vote.
John M. Boardman
Change and the future
To the Editor:
On April 14, at Tisbury town meeting, you will be asked once again to vote on whether to place the issue of allowing full service restaurants containing at least 30 seats to sell beer and wine on the ballot in 2010.
After the very interesting result of last year's vote at the ballot (a tie), it seems that quite a few of the taxpayers feel that this is a worthwhile cause, and rightfully so. Having been closely involved in the recount effort, I can tell you that this was democracy at its best.