A lot of discussion has been going on here about the upcoming budget votes that will take place tomorrow. A great deal of contention is focused on the $20,00 Mr. (First Selectman George) Temple has requested be included in the line item that covers cleaning all storm drain catch basins in town.
That line item was discussed at the public hearing before being sent to town meeting last week. The line item includes the cost of cleaning additional catch basins at Oxford Greens and I believe in Meadow Brook as well.
There was nothing hidden from the people that came to the public hearing on the budgets before they both were sent to town meeting held last week. Mr. Temple spoke in length as to why he felt that the town should include the basins in the budget. The Board of Finance explained that there were included into the cost of cleaning every basin in town and that is how they arrived at the final number for that line item.
The consensus of the public hearing was that the extra cost was acceptable, and the budgets were moved to town meeting.
During the discussion part on the municipal budget, former P&Z Chairman, Mr. Robinson, spoke on that line item and gave reasons why he felt it should not be included in the budget. Being well versed in Roberts Rules of Order and how our town meetings work, he failed to make a motion to strike the $20,00 from the line item even though he had the floor several times and the ample opportunity to do so.
Again Mr. Temple spoke at the town meeting as why he felt that the basins should be included and his concerns it a safety issue. So there is nothing hidden in the budget by Mr. Temple and the citizens voted to send the municipal budget to the referendum.
All eligible voters will be able to make their choice on both budgets.
I am confident that the BOF will see to it that if the $20,000 is found not to be proper and in violation of any zoning laws or conditions, and cannot be spent for the purpose intended, then all the proper procedures will be followed as to what is done with the overage.
As it stands now, the $20,000 cannot be removed with out going through a second budget process and will not affect our mill rate in any substantial way.
Who knows, maybe this little discrepancy will upset enough voters that they may strike down both budgets and they both will be put back on the chopping block. Hopefully not but there is allways that possibility.
Referendums cost money;(our money) and as hard as it is for me to advocate a tax increase, I hope that we pass these budgets and the road question tomorrow at the polls.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Editor's Note: Mr. Stocker is the chairman of the Oxford Republican Town Committee.