standing Letters

The present financial paradigm allows ever-increasing taxes and spending.

It is easy for administrators to spend other people’s money and have little regard for those who foot the bill. That is because it is the historical paradigm for generating revenue and paying the expenses of the town. So they think it is right and do not curb their financial appetites for increasingly more. Mistakenly, they feel entitled. So we may want to have a measure of sympathy for those with a tax-and-spend mentality, but without acquiescing to continuously increasing taxes and spending.

It’s time to change the status quo. All increases in taxes and/or spending must be brought to a vote in the general election each year. Our esteemed representatives stay in the loop of decision-making, have the opportunity to do what is right, but are not the arbiters of the final outcome by default because of lack of attention of the electorate and biased rules of the “game.” Instead, those who actually pay the bills, the property-owners and taxpayers of the town, automatically, without jumping through hoops, make the final decision as to whether increased spending or taxes are passed or not. Rather than having to contest the budget, collect signatures, and call for a referendum, all within a stipulated period of time, it immediately goes to a general election vote.

There’s no short-term fix for this historical problem. It is going to take some time. There is a lot of momentum and resistance to change in the system. And these forces rely on the fact that our attention is lacking and our memories short in this arena. So focus must be kept to get it done. Otherwise taxes and spending will continue to increase ad infinitum.

We are not going to revolt and riot and take the town by force. We have to work within the system as it is and use the mechanisms given to make the changes we require. And this is going to include changing some of the rules that allow this unconscionable behavior of robbing Paul to pay Peter to continue.

The people, in the form of our representatives, or directly if our representatives are not responsive to our needs, must have complete veto and reduction powers over all aspects, accounts, line items, etc., of any budget submitted.

We need honest, brave, resolute, civic-minded people to take the reins of power, serve the will of the people, profess their commitment to taming the beast of tax-and-spend, and do what is right rather than what fear of ridicule and promise of reward will dictate.

Elect people with those admirable and outstanding qualities to the administrative positions that control the levers of power and the hard-earned wealth of our beloved community. Let us make a new beginning that is just, fair, balanced, and sustainable, that will rightly serve the residents of our lovely town as well as their children, their grandchildren, and all those to come in the future.

Vote conscientiously.

Michael Randeau

Westerly

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