Merger plan inches closer

Rockingham and Bellows Falls residents might consider a vote to merge the two municipalities at Town Meeting next year. Full Story
Betty

Saxtons River, VT

#1 Nov 10, 2009
Again the village of Bellows Falls wants a merger so the Town of Rockingham can clean up their mess and for us to pay for services we will never get. I will tell you what is in it for Rockingham higher taxes. I have said it many times I do not choose to live In B.F. and I don't think it is fair. I know just what they will do they will try to vote from the floor so not all tax payers will be able to vote.Every year the library budget which is very large is voted from on the floor by a voice vote .Unlike the school budgets which are voted on the next day at the polls the library gets what it wants every year.Every budget or request for money should be voted on at the polls.Some of us cannot go to Town meeting. Some of us work during the day and often in the evening so we can pay our taxes in this town. The village of B.F. offers me very little. What stores there are other than Sam's and the Hardware store to not stay open in the evening when the working person can shop. The village offers me a road so I can drive to Keene or Claremont to do my shopping.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#2 Nov 10, 2009
Read the damn article Betty. BF residents will still be the only ones paying for the PD and FD under the plan.

If there is to be a special tax district, that district ought get reserved seats on the board voted on by only voters in that special tax district. If you want to district the town, then you have to actually district the town, that means district reps.

No taxation without representation.

60% of Rockingham voters are BF village residents so 3 of the 5 seats should do it.

Merge the damn town for real or split BF off into a separate "city".
flat lander

United States

#3 Nov 10, 2009
so what are they going to call the new relations. ROCKFALLS or maybe BELLOWSHAM what will it be any ideas.
Betty

Saxtons River, VT

#4 Nov 11, 2009
First of all Vermont citizen don't swear at me.I have a right to my opinion and I will not be intimidated by people like you. If the merger is suppose to be fair the why will the Taxes in Rockingham go up so much? I am all for splitting into a separate city.B.F. no longer offers anything for me. We use to have stores and businesses in the square now we have art shops and kids hanging around being rude when you pass by. We know we are being told the FD and PD are not included but if we merge it will come. 60% of the voters may live in B.F. but how many are renters living in those 3 story low income housing they won't come out to vote.Good luck with your merger.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 11, 2009
LOL oh my dear. If you consider what I said to be an attempt at intimidation or even swearing then you may not be cut out for these boards. You didn't read or you didn't comprehend the article before posting. That was obvious.

If you want to see your taxes go up..than splitting BF into a city is a sure way to make that happen. What happens to Rockingham when more than half of its tax base no longer pays taxes to the town? Oh and that's not even including the power dam. Guess where that sits.

Almost all Vermont towns have outlying rural areas, and a more concentrated area where most of their economic activity occurs. That's also where most of the taxes are generated. Keep in mind that the villagers and the businesses in the village pay most of the taxes to the town. That where the people, homes, and business are concentrated. That's where most of the towns revenue comes from.

But you townies have it good. You have the benefit of that tax-base paying into the town coffers, but you don't have to pay into the services that are required when you have such an economic hub. That is almost unique in the state. It is unfair and it should be undone.

Think about that when you say BF no longer offers anything to you.

Oh and those kids being rude...not all of them live in the village. They are just hanging out there before going home to the more rural areas of Rockingham.

Nice try with your next-to-last sentence making this a class issue.
Joe Shlabotnik

White River Junction, VT

#6 Nov 11, 2009
Vermont citizen wrote:
LOL oh my dear. If you consider what I said to be an attempt at intimidation or even swearing then you may not be cut out for these boards. You didn't read or you didn't comprehend the article before posting. That was obvious.
If you want to see your taxes go up..than splitting BF into a city is a sure way to make that happen. What happens to Rockingham when more than half of its tax base no longer pays taxes to the town? Oh and that's not even including the power dam. Guess where that sits.
Almost all Vermont towns have outlying rural areas, and a more concentrated area where most of their economic activity occurs. That's also where most of the taxes are generated. Keep in mind that the villagers and the businesses in the village pay most of the taxes to the town. That where the people, homes, and business are concentrated. That's where most of the towns revenue comes from.
But you townies have it good. You have the benefit of that tax-base paying into the town coffers, but you don't have to pay into the services that are required when you have such an economic hub. That is almost unique in the state. It is unfair and it should be undone.
Think about that when you say BF no longer offers anything to you.
Oh and those kids being rude...not all of them live in the village. They are just hanging out there before going home to the more rural areas of Rockingham.
Nice try with your next-to-last sentence making this a class issue.
Economic hub?????? You are kidding aren't you?? Aside from the specious points you make it's also about pure governance. "Townies" as you refer to them/us do not need some of your village voices. One need not go too far back to televised meetings with your abusive Village Presidente' Bergman to know that some good townie types do not want to see that form of lunacy come to their governance. And the stewardship of that august group of trustees over the PD and FD. I do not advocate a seperate city by any means. Just let you villagers pay for your own silliness that you get from some of the people you elect.And for the services you want as reflected in your budgets.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#7 Nov 12, 2009
Joe Shlabotnik wrote:
<quoted text>
Economic hub?????? You are kidding aren't you?? Aside from the specious points you make it's also about pure governance. "Townies" as you refer to them/us do not need some of your village voices. One need not go too far back to televised meetings with your abusive Village Presidente' Bergman to know that some good townie types do not want to see that form of lunacy come to their governance. And the stewardship of that august group of trustees over the PD and FD. I do not advocate a separate city by any means. Just let you villagers pay for your own silliness that you get from some of the people you elect.And for the services you want as reflected in your budgets.
Perhaps you fail to realize that every single person on the board of Trustees is also eligible to run for Select-board member now, and every single village voter is also a town voter so can also vote for members of the Select-board. Merging will not change any of that. I am not a fan of the behavior of last years Trustee board either, but nothing about consolidation will increase the chances of any of them ending up on the Select-board.

If at least an "administrative" merge occurs, then it will be the Select-board that oversees the PD and FD. There will be no Board of Trustees anymore so all those complaints you have about them will no longer be a problem.

Specious? Did you actually read YOUR post?
Joe Shlabotnik

New London, NH

#8 Nov 12, 2009
Vermont citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps you fail to realize that every single person on the board of Trustees is also eligible to run for Select-board member now, and every single village voter is also a town voter so can also vote for members of the Select-board. Merging will not change any of that. I am not a fan of the behavior of last years Trustee board either, but nothing about consolidation will increase the chances of any of them ending up on the Select-board.
If at least an "administrative" merge occurs, then it will be the Select-board that oversees the PD and FD. There will be no Board of Trustees anymore so all those complaints you have about them will no longer be a problem.
Specious? Did you actually read YOUR post?
I generally try to read everything I write, but you know how it can be!!Busy busy.
We don't need no stinkin' merger or for the Selectboard to "police" the police.Or for them to worry about the paid firemen. And if there is a special tax district for them and the Selectboard has oversight it will only be a matter of time before it is a town tax. This is the creeping governance the town does not need. Villagers have their FD and PD. They can pay for it and might as well run it too. And, if the lunatic fringe wants to run for the Selectboard they will have to appeal to more than just a few village voters. But if they DO win so be it.
Your logic suggests that we could go even farther.Lets erase all the town lines and just have the almighty state run things altogether so we can all share each others "stuff"!!One BIG happy family.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#9 Nov 13, 2009
Joe Shlabotnik wrote:
<quoted text>
I generally try to read everything I write, but you know how it can be!!Busy busy.
We don't need no stinkin' merger or for the Selectboard to "police" the police.Or for them to worry about the paid firemen. And if there is a special tax district for them and the Selectboard has oversight it will only be a matter of time before it is a town tax. This is the creeping governance the town does not need. Villagers have their FD and PD. They can pay for it and might as well run it too. And, if the lunatic fringe wants to run for the Selectboard they will have to appeal to more than just a few village voters. But if they DO win so be it.
Your logic suggests that we could go even farther.Lets erase all the town lines and just have the almighty state run things altogether so we can all share each others "stuff"!!One BIG happy family.
Nowhere in the logic I provided suggests any such thing as erasing town lines. I am suggesting one of two things. If the town wants tax revenue from the village, then they should provide tax revenue to run the required services. If they don't want to do that, than the village residents and businesses should not have any tax liability to the town.

Either we are a town or we are not. This mutant combination of the two options must stop. Non-villagers can rant and disparage the village residents all they want. The fact is that the townies have had it far better than they should have for decades at the expense of those that live on the wrong side of an invisible line on the ground.
Joe Shlabotnik

White River Junction, VT

#10 Nov 13, 2009
Vermont citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
Nowhere in the logic I provided suggests any such thing as erasing town lines. I am suggesting one of two things. If the town wants tax revenue from the village, then they should provide tax revenue to run the required services. If they don't want to do that, than the village residents and businesses should not have any tax liability to the town.
Either we are a town or we are not. This mutant combination of the two options must stop. Non-villagers can rant and disparage the village residents all they want. The fact is that the townies have had it far better than they should have for decades at the expense of those that live on the wrong side of an invisible line on the ground.
I believe the town came first. It was the village that "sprouted up" with its own government and then started adding services that have exceeded the tax base. Or maybe not, since the voters seem to want them and keep approving the very things that if the "townies" wanted they could indeed vote in.That's the real "nub" of the issue. It can be obfuscated with claims of townies free-riding if you will. The bottom line remains that the village voters have given themselves what they got in terms of budgets and elected officials and they have no good cause to complain about the results they obtained.
And whether the egg came first or the chicken did, does not matter necessarily since the legislature drew up the town governance structure. If you really want merger do away with everything that is village created and start with what the town has. Don't ask the "townies" to pick up the pieces, or the tab, for what the villagers built for themselves and now don't like the pricetag associated with it.

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