C. Casey: Voting is an obligation

It has been an unprecedentedly challenging year for the people of Rumford. Citizens submitted no less than four petitions to limit spending in the community and have yet to be allowed to vote on the matter.

The citizens rejected the entire budget proposed by selectmen and all but four initiated article requests in June. In July, they rejected eight of 12 budget proposals. In August, they rejected the eight articles again. In October, they continued to express their discontent by again rejecting the largest article in the budget, unclassified accounts, that included $1,119,000 for employee benefits.

It remains to be seen if Rumford citizens will once again vote against the article at an $83,336.02 increase over actual fiscal 2012-2013 spending.

Also on Nov. 5, Rumford voters are being called upon to choose who will represent them on a charter commission. Hopefully, voters will choose representatives who will work to continue the town manager form of government and who will continue public voting on the town budget articles — leaving power with the people and preserving that the imperative will of the people be respected and honored. Elected representatives should seek to produce a clean and clear town charter that protects all citizens from abuse by a few elected and appointed officials.

There are many unprecedented challenges in this community, so people should be sure to vote. It is not only a right, but an obligation of a free people.

Candice Casey, Rumford

Editor's note: The author is a candidate for the Rumford Charter Commission.

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Comments

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If you take a moment to

If you take a moment to review census population data for Rumford, one would notice that Rumford population has been shrinking year over year for the past 50 years.

That said, why should city spending be increasing year over year over that same time frame?

If the city feels that they cannot cut the budget, perhaps the city should unincorporated.

Rumford Population Data
--------------------------------------
1960 10,005 0.5%
1970 9,363 ?6.4%
1980 8,240 ?12.0%
1990 7,078 ?14.1%
2000 6,472 ?8.6%
2010 5,841 ?9.7%

Betty Davies's picture

Why not take inflation into account?

Your numbers are meaningless, since they fail to take inflation into account.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The numbers I provided

The numbers I provided represent changes in Rumford population. Other than inflation of the waistline, inflation has no effect on humans.

Betty Davies's picture

You missed the point

You complained that the budget has been increasing, though the population has decreased. You did not use inflation-adjusted dollar figures. In real terms, it's likely that the budget has not increased as much as you claim, or might even have dropped on a per-person basis.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The takeaway is that there

The takeaway is that there are less people paying property taxes. Hence, perhaps the town does not have the critical mass to continue its current level of services.

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