As a former Charlestown Town Councilor and eight-year member of the town’s Budget Commission, I always made decisions and voted based on the facts. I believe any vote on financial matters or public policy should reflect what is best for the entire town and not special-interest groups. Don’t be misled by misinformation campaigns that paint this as a bad budget and offer alternatives that would adversely affect the town’s quality of life, such as a 15,000-seat concert venue in Ninigret Park.
The town has been well-managed for the last decade with sound financial and budget decisions, based on facts, that the voters have passed. This year’s proposed budget follows the same pattern. The voters are presented with a sound budget that lowers the tax rate and keeps it as the third-lowest in the state. The proposed budget also maintains a surplus that complies with financial audit standards, and allows the town to pay down existing loans without incurring additional debt by taking out new bonds. The budget addresses the town’s needs for each department and the priorities that citizens have requested as being important to maintaining the quality of life in Charlestown. This budget maintains the Town’s support for education to Chariho, infrastructure and road improvements, maintaining our natural resources including parks, salt ponds, beaches, and open space.
The facts support a yes vote for the budget.
The writer is a former member of the Charlestown Town Council.