'Proceeding with caution'
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#1 Dec 31, 2010
The Finance Committee and Selectmen need to realize that not all departments are equal and thus should not be treated equally in either a budget cut or budget increase. Fire and police must be funded adequately to protect the people's safety.
The Library and Senior Center can tighten their budgets and pass some of their money back into the general funds. There should be immediate cuts in those departments. Have you ever seen a line at the library waiting to check out books?
Look at the amount of cars at the Senior Center after one o'clock. I'd say low attendance. What about all those vehicles with New Hampshire registrations parked at the Center. They need to pay their way or we need to collect a fee from the well to do town of Hollis NH.
We have 6 months left in this fiscal year. Let's start tightening the belt now , so the impact will not be quite as bad next fiscal year.
#2 Dec 31, 2010
Pepperell I do somewhat agree with your thinking. However not all of it is fiscally responsible. First off we'll take the police and fire depts. I agree safety is a top priority, however the departments run rampant at times. Take for instance the police department- running three cars at a time on one shift? Seriously? Pepperell does not have that type of call volume. Three cops working overnights- I cant even see a justification of three during an afternoon or morning shift.
Second is the Fire dept- why are we paying the members to go to ALS School, and paying them more money when they work. What hospital does Pepperell take people to over 3/4 of the time-- Nashoba, who offers their own ALS. Why are we paying these EMT's to do this? We are paying for them to go to school and then just leave for a better job as they know Pepperell doesnt even offer a full time sustainable job for a Firefighter or Paramedic.
Senior Center and Library are a wash, I agree people dont go in much, however Im not too familiar with the topic so I cannot comment. But there is clearly room to cut this budget.
#3 Jan 1, 2011
What the town of Peppereell needs to do is an audit of where the waste an double dipping is taking place.The police department seems to be more than efficient and we definitely dont need to cut from them.Ive seen them do there job day in and day out without the recognition they deserve.I know you will be whining about this one but it seems you could combine the fire department and highway department.Make it Fire/Highway depts.Since we have a limited full time fire department and there is a full time highway department you would always have people ready to respond if there was a fire.The Town of Pepperell could eliminate double dipping and eliminate some of the chiefs if you have the intestinal fortitude to do it.Now the highway department went over budget some 45,000 just on snow removal last year and it was a fairly mild winter last year.Not acceptable but the usual status quo.Com mon practice and excuses need to stop in those departments so maybe hiring or assigning someone to specifically over see is a must. It wont stop until you monitor and get rid of the hacks in those departments and if you dont have the stomach to say no, hire someone who will under the guise off fiscal responsibility. Now Town of Selectman get it done!
#4 Jan 1, 2011
I agree with all three except for the police department it should not be cut at all.They are probably the only town department that are consistant and do there jobs that I have noticed, even though I dont always agree with them.In these times you want them out there and need them out there!I would say the difference from the police and fire is the police have more of a human element out there you will never no what to expect.We dont need any cuts to the police.
#5 Jan 2, 2011
Ha ha ha - you must be one of the detail officers making $100 per hour standing by highway department equipment chatting with Peter Shattuck or drinking coffee and texting? LOL
#6 Jan 3, 2011
Its just a crappy situation overall. As the saying goes, you can't squeeze blood from a rock. As a whole, our communities have been growing for decades, with budgets reflecting this, so obviously it is hard to put the brakes on and put the whole thing in reverse. I agree with the comment about auditing to see where the excess spending is going on.
Jim, you obviously haven't done you're homework. The town of Pepperell has never funded anyone to go to Paramedic school. Sure, there is outside ALS, but the whole financial incentive of going ALS is so we can bill at the ALS rates. We lose 60-70% MINIMUM on ALS calls as it stands now. Sometimes, the town doesn't collect a cent, and has to pay out the entire sum to the intercept service. Going ALS will only bring more money into the town.
#7 Jan 3, 2011
Once again, the target is being placed on the senior center and library. Though I never have waited in line at the library, I also cannot remember the last time the police department made a significant arrest of any of the local drug lords. Though I have not been to the senior center after 1:30, I also cannot remember the last time the fire dept saved a house from burning to the ground. I do however see 20 or so firefighters responding to a minor car accident. This is money wasted as well. We also have highway dept employees spending their "down time" working on restoring old fire trucks. Maybe if those depts set up a "friends of" group as the senior center, library and recreation dept have, they might not have to nickel and dime the rest of us to death.
#8 Jan 4, 2011
To Clintoonville Police, No Im not a police officer but I do remember a couple of years ago in the winter time some diligent officers from Pepperell probably saved a girls life.They followed tire tracks and caught the suspect and most likely prevented a tragedy.So if they do details once and awhile its ok with me.If you were related to that particular woman I dont think you would care about those details as much!But I do agree with you about the fire/highway department its out of control and I think the people in Pepperell know and appreciate the job they do.But come on ever other week your in the newspaper patting yourselfs on the back give it a break.Your brave men not newspaper models.If the selectman cant figure out where to start cutting the waste. Resign!
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