Town budget meets with voter approval
The Financial Town Meeting on Monday was one of the shortest in recent memory.
After all of the controversy surrounding the FTM in recent years with long debates over voting procedures and budget cuts proposed from the floor, it was refreshing to see an annual meeting conclude without discord.
The FTM lasted only 21 minutes – quite possibly a record. At the close of the meeting, 113 registered voters approved the $21 million combined spending package for the town and schools. Most of the meeting time was used for comments about the proposed budgets from our elected officials. It sounds like the town is in pretty good shape.
How can one argue with a budget that trims the average property taxes by 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation? According to town officials, more than half of the island’s property owners will see their tax bills reduced.
Jamestown has experienced some minimal tax increases with our town budgets in recent years, but this year’s property-tax reduction is really an attention getter.
Kudos to the Town Council and the School Committee for jobs well done. We’d also like to congratulate Town Administrator Bruce Keiser on his managerial and financial efforts. Keiser will retire in October and this is the last Jamestown budget he will oversee. During his tenure on the island he has done an outstanding job of keeping our property taxes low while making sure the town remains in top condition. He will be missed.
One can argue that the annual FTM is an anachronism from our Yankee roots. But this fine New England tradition continues to work well for our community in years of short meetings and those times when the voters have something to say.
— Jeff McDonough