Town Council Contemplates Budget Approval

The most interesting part of the Tiverton Town Council meeting, Monday night, came when the council discussed whether to “approve” the budget that it was providing to the Budget Committee, something that they’ve been reluctant to do (perhaps for political reasons):

  • Entire discussion: stream
  • Jay Lambert expresses concern that the budget doesn’t give an indication of revenue and its relationship to spending: stream, download
  • Don Bollin notes the obligation to approve the budget and the historical precedent to send along a work in progress: stream, download
  • Louise Durfee accuses Lambert of using suspect numbers for what was really only a hypothetical estimate for rhetorical purposes. Lambert: “Even if you don’t like the style of a messenger, don’t ignore the substance.” stream, download
  • Durfee argues that the current budget proposal represents a decrease given CPI. “You could make the argument that it’s a little too low.” stream, download
  • Don Bollin suggests that “contractual obligations” represent a “pretty solid number you have to have in there.” “I can’t trim a budget based on what I would like to see happen in negotiations… It’s easier to have the money put back should the results we want happen.” Of course, this ignores that the union takes the budget number as a baseline for negotiations. stream, download
  • Lambert raises the point that some residents will be tangibly harmed by the current budget. Cecil Leonard suggests that he’s beginning to be concerned that the council has already cut too much and explains that nobody wants to cut services. stream, download
  • Durfee talks about moving the financial town meeting to a later date for informational purposes. “We cannot do that without the approval of the budget committee, TCC people, school committee, and council as one block, because it won’t work if we go to a meeting and somebody says, ‘You’re not going to recess this; I’m going to cut your budget.” She further raises the specter of people dying because cuts force the fire department to refuse service on a rotating basis. stream, download
  • Resident Chris Cotta offers comments, as does Councilman Ed Roderick: stream, download
  • Closing discussion. Durfee: “They [the budget committee] have already worked on the town budget. They have taken their deductions. That hasn’t stopped them at all. They have a flat 16.5% reduction on municipal services. They have a proposed $2 million cut — $2 million cut on municipal services.” stream, download
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