Letters to the editor, April 3, 2014

A responsible budget

To the editor:

The Democratic members of the Town Council, would like to encourage the citizens and taxpayers of Berlin to attend the annual public hearing on the proposed budget for the Town of Berlin which will take place Tuesday, April 8, 7 p.m., at McGee Middle School.

The Town Council has presented a proposed budget for Berlin that we believe is fair, balanced and responsible. There will be a presentation of the budget proposal at the public hearing and then the Town Council will hear comments from those in attendance who wish to speak. We encourage your comments and we look forward to hearing from you.

If you are unable to make it to the annual public hearing, please feel free to speak directly with Mayor Rochette during her weekly Thursday evening office hours at Town Hall.

Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Mayor Rachel Rochette, Councilor Bill Rasmussen

and Councilor Maggie Morelli

Vote yes

To the editor:

Regarding the opinion column by David Evans in the March 20 issue, I would like to point out that of the budgeted $156,000 for condo refuse rebates, $60,000, at most, is attributable to newly eligible condos, and the remaining $96,000 (roughly) represents continuation of annual rebates that have been in effect and paid since 1998 to only six of the existing condo communities in town.

Contrary to his opinion that reducing taxes for all is more important than subsidizing trash collection costs for condo owners, I would submit that is unfair that the town pay for the cost of trash collection for all residential homeowners, except for condo owners.

The implication that the rebate would not be sustainable in light of high school renovation costs is somewhat insulting to condo owners because on a per-household basis, condos send significantly fewer children into the school system than other residential households. Therefore, condo owners should not be asked to endure a greater sacrifice to pay for education than all other households.

If the town cannot afford this, perhaps it should look at discontinuing paying for trash collection for all residential households. I am not advocating that; I am just pointing out that it would be more equitable than targeting and penalizing condo owners.

I applaud the goal of minimizing tax increases. I attended one of the budget meetings and from my observations the council did a diligent and laudable job in controlling budgeted expenditures. The projected 1.1 percent mill rate increase is significantly less than any increase in the last four years.

I encourage all citizens to vote in favor of the proposed budget at the Tuesday, April 29 referendum.

Dave Duchesne


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