Rumford voters to consider budget funding, wind and charter laws

RUMFORD — Depending on the whims of voters, selectmen could put months of multiple meetings behind them this week and finalize the 2010-11 budget that is normally set after the June town meeting.

This year’s anomalies are a proposed welfare budget that’s twice been rejected and a petition-initiated revote on funding for Black Mountain ski resort. Those issues could be decided at the polls from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the American Legion on upper Congress Street.

Selectmen and the Finance Committee have recommended a $35,000 welfare budget and a $51,000 donation to the nonprofit ski resort, which failed to get any funding through the initiated-article process at town meeting in June.

Voters have rejected raising and appropriating $70,021 and $60,000 for the welfare budget. Selectmen then pared the amount to $35,000 for a third try.

Should voters again reject the welfare budget, selectmen and the committee would have to repeat the process to recommend an amount and try again. State law requires towns to have general assistance budgets.

Other meetings this week include a special business meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School on a proposed wind ordinance with which to regulate wind farm development and a proposed charter change to simplify the initiated-articles ballot when selectmen and the committee do not agree on an amount to recommend.

After discussion is completed, the meeting will adjourn to Nov. 2 for balloting.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, selectmen will hold the second of two public hearings on the proposed wind ordinance.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Off Base Kevin

The delay is not the fault of the people Kevin. It's the fault of those who have manipulated what should have been done. We all know who they are. They voted 4 to 1 and then allowed management to manipulate hrs. which save the town no money. So contrary to what you want people to believe Kevin you have become part of the manipulating problem that has taken place in the town Hall. The people have spoken and the people who are suppose to listen have done just the opposite. Is that a surprise ? Nope! And is your backing them a surprise? Nope! Let's look at what they have done and what you are supporting.
1. The General Asst. person statated" if the hours were cut to 12 she wouldn"t stay". The town manager did some manipulating to give her more hrs. so she could stay on and keep insurance coverage. This is coat saving.
2. If she didn't want to stay for the 12 hrs. then it was her choice. This should be run within a certain office. But that will never happen. It would save money.
3. The personnel policy grandfathering has cost the town money also. Yet you blame the people who expose it. Guess we know your not on the side of the tax payer but on the side of the manipulating spenders.
The people should be told the real facts. And they are not. It's not their vote that is costing money. And you know it. So just continue siding with those who are really manipulating and costing the town money because you fit right in with them.

 's picture

You have proved my point Frank

Your comments prove that you will not rest until Thelma is unemployed. One has to wonder why you and others are so intent on getting rid of her. She has continually reduced the General Assistance budget over the years, and has done a good job of screening people who don't qualify. It would seem that you just don't like the rules the town must adhere to, so you are blaming her.

Yes, the town found additional work for her. They did this by splitting a full time position in the town clerk's office (I don't believe the other other person sharing the position receives benefits), and having Thelma work in the tax collector's office two days a week. She took a pay cut due to the pay rate for the other positions, but maintains her benefits. And that is the big deal here, isn't it? You want to take away Thelma's benefits. Well, you did nothing to make changes in that department when you were in office, but now that you have joined us on the outside, you yell and scream and accuse those who remained in office of wrongdoing.

This is a witch hunt pure and simple and you should be ashamed of yourself for taking part in it.

As for me, I call it as I see it, and don't you DARE accuse me of being part of any conspiracy. I have no allegiances in town politics except the town charter and the best interest of the town. Everything I have said was accurate. You can have your own opinion, but not your own facts. The delay in approving the General Assistance budget is the sole responsibility of the Concerned Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility for using political games and misinformation to trick the voters into voting against a budget that worked. You know as well as I that most voters rely upon what they read in the newspaper to make decisions on how they vote. They can approve any amount they like, but they will still end up paying tens of thousands of dollars to those who need it as required under state law.

I don't expect you to agree with me. In my experience, you usually make up your mind, and no amount of convincing can change it. Unfortunately, there are a large number of lemmings out there who are easily fooled by your fabricated reality.

Keep Turning

Things around Kevin. Your good at it. She was never going to lose her job Kevin. She still had the job at 12 /week. She said she would leave if that happened. Well it didn"t happen. The inner manipulation took place and the town saves no money. That's the bottom line . The only witch hunt Kevin is what you make up and spew out. What you do Kevin is not reality. The town does follow state law. But how administered is up to the town. And yes you are on the bandwagon of not saving money. So you stay in the back pocket of of the powers to be and help them over spend.

 's picture

Turning..

I don't turn things around, I straighten them out.

See you downtown Frankie :)

 's picture

Frank

One thing I can say about Frank is that he never holds my opinion against me. Even after reading these comments, he will still greet me on the street. We may discuss the comments, but we are still on a friendly basis.

I like that :)

S and A to close

Sorry for the spelling of cost at the end of #1. coat should be cost.

 's picture

I don't often agree with the devil

The turmoil of the past few years has been both a financial drain on the town and a distraction from the things that need to get done. The current board members do get along and discuss things (often to death), but have difficulty committing to much. They seem timid to act, likely in fear of causing more turmoil. It is a thankless position that doesn't allow any room for mistakes. If they support enforcing the building code, they are attacked by the landlords, if they don't they are attacked by those who want our town cleaned up. Most issues have two sides, and this board seems to be riding the fence on almost every issue.

Carlo has spent most of his time cleaning up from previous Town Managers. He has tied up many loose ends, and worked to coordinate response to the mess caused by the repetitive voting on the General Assistance budget, as well as the other town meeting issues. It will be nice to see what he can achieve once these issues are cleared up. However, I have told both the board and Carlo that you cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs. The board and Town Manager need to be willing to take a position that is in the best interest of the majority of the citizens after fully looking into an issue. Wishy-washy leadership will not achieve anything.

Back when I was on the board, I stated that we needed to build the tax base to avoid higher taxes. That was over 20 years ago, and not much has been done. N.O.T.E.D.->RVGC has made marginal efforts to promote Rumford. This is primarily because they are a regional organization and partially because the have saddled themselves with the Tech Center. The Chamber of Commerce, on which we rely to promote the area has driven away members due to domineering leadership. I give credit to those who revived it back in the late 1980s, but am saddened at what it has become. It serves it's members, but cannot be relied upon to be the sole source for promoting Rumford.

One reason for the lack of progress, is the lack of vision and planning. We have a Comprehensive Plan that was created and approved by the voters, but it literally sat on a shelf for many years after the primary project the information center (a.k.a. Ron Theriault's house of pee) was completed. I give credit to the Park Commission for finding a way to move ahead with some of the projects, but most everything else fell by the wayside.

Our infrastructure has fallen into disrepair due to special projects. JL fought for the walking trail along the riverbank by the library. I was informed that some of the money for that project came from the sidewalk fund. Look at our downtown sidewalks now. Some of the money to develop the roads for the industrial and business parks came from the roads fund. Meanwhile, we have roads in Swift River park that haven't been re-surfaced since they were built in the 1960s. Yes, the industrial and business parks are important to us, and yes, they have expanded our tax base, but the remainder of the town has been left to suffer. I fully support fund integrity. When money is allocated for a particular use, it should go to that use. If you have a special project, it needs to be approved by the voters, not finagled in a back room deal, shifting funds. I believe that our current board has the capacity to function in this manner, it is just a case of whether or not they have the integrity to do so.

 's picture

.

Disagree with me all you want, I am speaking the truth. Some people don't want to hear the truth, others don't want to acknowledge it.

Truth Kevin

Why don't you tell about the manipulation that took place in tax office and General Asst. hrs. game that save the town nothing. We are lucky that the town didn't get nailed for discrimination. What could happen to save money will never happen now. This is the truth so stop being part of the cover-up efforts.

 's picture

.

I would respond to your comment if you had remained respectful.

 's picture

:)

you're funny

 's picture

Hmmm

I would be interested to see Jay's budget. I would speculate that this amount does not include the monies paid out, but merely administrative/supplies.

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