Yes, the budget passes. But there is a definite trend..a look at the number reveals quite a bit…
1) The budget passed because two towns voted heavily in favor (Salisbury 172-91) (Kent 74-18)
2) In the four other towns, the budget was defeated 298-254
3) Cornwall (the home of Region One chair Phil Hart) the budget passed by only 15 votes…the closest in over 10 years…
So, we now have the beginnings of an active, informed, interested taxpayer base that will grow over the next year. Attend more meetings, vote , participate in the process….we can make a difference, and we can be heard!
I devoutly hope that Mr Epstein of Kent is correct, and that the below points will now be considered by the board as a whole, particularly the reps from Kent and Salisbury, whose towns made the difference in the vote. [It is equally interesting to note that the Salisbury alternate, who was nevertheless appointed to the Region One Board after he was roundly thumped in the election by a 3-1 margin, is already publicly distorting the results, blithely disregarding the views of 407 taxpayers.]
I believe that the issues that many of us have with Region One can be dealt with more productively once the budget is out of the way. In the fall, and before any budget talk begins, there should be public discussion on some or all of the following:
1, The Pingpank Report, which was done last year, has never been addressed. It needs to be. Despite Board opinion that it is “hearsay” and “he said, she said,” I believe it is very accurate and needs to be aired in public.
2. The whole issue of e-mails needs to be discussed. By e-mails I mean the ones that appear to be from a fictitious person, the ones that mysteriously disappeared which led to a grievance, and the ones to individuals of a cruel and bullying nature should all be discussed in public.
3. Finally, all the additions to the contracts that keep being added to existing contracts, are certainly in need of discussion.
I was mildly disturbed by Region One Chairman Phil Hart’s comment in this morning’s Rep-Am. Did he mean to imply that the Board Reps of Sharon and Falls Village should no longer present views that are not at one with the rest of the Region One board? With any luck, no, since, according to the quote, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” And with any luck, no, since according to the count, both of their towns voted “no.”