2009-05-14 / Letters to the Editor

Budget process needs reworking

I wish that I could stand back and believe the five members of the Town Council could speak for all taxpayers, but they don't. That is why islanders generously volunteer for committees, commissions, boards and attend meetings. After attending nearly all the budget workshops for the school and the town budgets, I now understand why all of you stay at home.

At none of these budget workshops was a member of the community allowed to ask one question or make a comment. When I challenged this decision by the Town Council president, I was told "come to the next Town Council meeting and ask your questions and voice your concerns during open forum." I believe the time to ask questions is at the budget meeting when the Town Council and School Committee have all the figures before them.

The reason for writing this letter to the editor is that I have attended budget meetings of over 15 hours and I never, let me repeat, never, had the opportunity to ask a question or get a response to any question I had about the town or school budget. I may not disagree with the proposed budget. I am voting "no" because I disagree with the process that does not allow taxpayers to participate until the Financial Town Meeting. Susan Little Jamestown

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