I write this letter to update the taxpayers on the activities of city government. Towards the end of October, Mayor Louras released his budget early, on the premise of giving the board an opportunity to take a look at it and have questions ready at the first meeting in November.
This move, of course, created a story in the press and gave the mayor some time to try to explain the unsustainable increase in spending for fiscal year 2014. The Board of Aldermen is just now beginning to review the budget and, hopefully, will consider some meaningful cuts.
On top of a 6 percent recommended increase in spending in the budget, we are being asked to consider a 10 percent increase in water and sewer rates. If you see a trend here, you are not the only one. Please consider contacting your aldermen and mayor to let them know how you feel about those proposed increases.
Two last things, as you have probably read in the newspaper, another city police officer is under investigation, again reminding us all of how deep-rooted the issues over there are. And finally, the city has undergone a complete audit by the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration, VOSHA, finding numerous violations in city safety practices and policies across city government. This could cost city government thousands in fines, therefore city taxpayers.
As we move forward and into the election season, I ask the taxpayers to consider not only these issues, but the state of the city and whether or not it really is time for a change. I am always available at 236-0539, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Aldermen)
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