Calls for ‘yes’ vote on Bethel budget Tuesday
For two years I have served on the Bethel Board of Finance; this is my second budget cycle. In both years, the school portion of the budget passed on the first vote, whereas, the town budget has narrowly gone down. I, like you, do not like to pay taxes, but I believe that fiscal discipline now will mitigate future increases.
The proposed Bethel budget is a 1.65 percent increase in taxes, below inflation. This budget pays cash for needed items, such as safety equipment for our fire department, radios for our police, a plow truck and a medium duty truck for our highway department and a new surface for our high school track. The Vote NO faction wants to defund the account used to pay cash for these items. This course will add to town debt and the cost of town government in years to come.
Bethel completed a new police station and has begun funding for the renovations of two schools. We must pay for these improvements — now and in the years ahead. The majority members on the Board of Finance feel that it is fiscally irresponsible to keep adding to town debt. The proposed budget is designed to pay cash for needed items, pay down short-term debt, and get taxes under control. Local politics, I believe, is made up of caring volunteers; these people make small towns work. Why, in a small town, do people of different politics call others “maniacal” and “thugs?” They accuse school officials of unethical behavior; they vote NO, no matter what. I do not understand the animosity.
Despite what the Vote NO faction calls us; we need to be fiscally responsible. To all Bethel voters, please go out and vote on May 7th. Please go out and vote YES.
Robert J. Palmer
Member Bethel Board of Finance