Letter: Residents should come to budget workshop

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letters_flatTo the editor,

I attended the Beacon Falls Board of Finance meeting on April 9, 2013 and was really disturbed by a lot of questions that were asked and information that was brought up during the public comment session of the meeting.

Apparently someone from the Public Works Department is retiring from their position of a crew leader. The First Selectman or town management has posted this position to be at a higher pay and level than the position that is retiring.

Generally in municipalities as well as state jobs, management takes advantage of retiring positions to either eliminate them or replace them with beginning level salaries — that way they save the town and taxpayers tons of money. This is clearly not taking place in Beacon Falls and this move and change is definitely not in the best interest of the taxpayers of Beacon Falls. Furthermore, the question of whether or not this particular position was “cookie cut” for anyone in particular was asked. The question was not answered.

I would like to know what the First Selectman is thinking regarding all of these huge salary increases — over $50,000 for his position alone and then raising the position of the retired crew leader to assistant foreman instead of starting the pay at an entry level pay or even eliminating the position all together. It was pointed out during the meeting that there are five public works employees with three bosses (that is each boss would be responsible for 1.6 employees). It would be nice to see our current First Selectman consider the taxpayers and town residents for once.

The rest of the meeting was equally bad. After a very long discussion of loans the town is responsible for paying, which have been interest only payments so far, and the astronomical increases the town will be facing in the next year, the Board of Finance was not comfortable with bringing the budget to the town yet. It seems there are many questions that they were not able to get answers to from management. The Board of Finance scheduled another budget workshop for April 23. Residents should come to the meeting to see for themselves what is going on.

Debbie Daigle

Beacon Falls

1 COMMENT

  1. I am having a hard time understanding the reasoning in this letter and from others that are speaking against the current Board of Finance budget. I get it that there is a concern of making the 1st Selectman a fulltime position with full benefits. What does not make sense is that we have had many projects over the past several years that have huge cost overruns and it is my understanding that our previous parttime 1st Selectman lead these efforts. So, if we had a fulltime administrator running these projects, would there have been cost overruns?

    It is my further understanding that the loans being questioned in this letter are those same project overruns that were not well managed by a past administration. I very carefully did not say mismanaged, because I do not know that, nor has any previous article or person made that statement. So, who needs to answer why we are in the budget mess with these loans? It looks to me to be the past administration not the one trying to correct past actions.

    Last, I have no problem hiring a new assistant road foreman to fill the void left by the retiring person. If there is no competent person to be promoted from within, then this makes perfect sense. The town should hire who it needs to, in order to meet the service requirements of the town.

    About all I can agree to in this letter is that we all need to be informed to make sound decisions on this budget. Attend meetings, read the news articles. Read these letters to the editor with both eyes wide open, as most of them are politically motivated and probably written by members of political committees.