Vernon seeks level-funded fiscal budget

Vernon seeks level-funded fiscal budget

There are 20 comments on the Brattleboro Reformer story from Nov 30, 2010, titled Vernon seeks level-funded fiscal budget. In it, Brattleboro Reformer reports that:

The Vernon Selectboard reviewed the town's preliminary 2011-2012 budget during a special Monday night meeting.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Brattleboro Reformer.

vernontaxpayer

Springfield, MA

#1 Nov 30, 2010
$18k on travel expenses?????? To where? The select board needs to reign in the frivalous spending and soon.$12 k for phones with all the low cost options out there? This is not surprising from a board that authorized over $100K to pave a road that was in no need of paving. It's time to start thinking about the tax payers for once.
In Afghanistan

Columbus, OH

#2 Nov 30, 2010
vernontaxpayer wrote:
$18k on travel expenses?????? To where? The select board needs to reign in the frivalous spending and soon.$12 k for phones with all the low cost options out there? This is not surprising from a board that authorized over $100K to pave a road that was in no need of paving. It's time to start thinking about the tax payers for once.
Itís not just Vernon, itís all across the nation.
Vernon again

Brattleboro, VT

#3 Nov 30, 2010
Vernon’s police force has a significant budgetary proposal in its specials line item and in staff salaries, but mainly because the department hired more full-time officers than in years past. Ok.. Vernon does not need these extra officers so certain ones don't have to work. Nor do they need a 40 hour a week receptionist, which has been proven in the past that their is NOT enough work to keep that position open for 40 hrs. Vernon needs 3 full time officers ( one being the chief) and two part time. Anymore than that is a waste. Put that on the town vote! The town is already dealing with one law suite , and word around town is more to come concerning the Vernon PD,
I do not think the people of Vernon will tolerate much more abuse from this dept.
The Vernon Rec, MORE should be done in that area, for the kids and adults. They have outstanding programs and do alot of good in keeping kids busy during all seasons.
Assistant fire chief, Andrews called it like it is having the heads justify their budgets.
Mike Courtemanche has done an outstanding job in speaking up and making adjustments, and trying to cut some costs...But adding the phone system to a system like comcast, would jeopardize calls especially to fire and police, if we lose power , which Vernon is famous for. No computer no phone as well.
$18,000 on travel expenses????? WOW, now that is crazy. So is a 12,000.00 phone bill yearly. I also do NOT think that we need to pay for cell phone expenses unless you are part of the fire dept, the police already have their own equipment. Their alot of expenses that need cutting here. The town newspaper should of been printed on recycled paper and its not. So to put it on line for the people to access it makes more sense, and will cut cost as well.

You all need to work harder , you have our homestead taxes which was suppose to help towns, yet I do not see where that's working so well here. Raised our taxes, yet again, and you blow money to the wind on ridiculous costs that could of waited. Town office rugs for instance, painting, signs, additions to buildings, in case you haven't heard we should be tightening our budgets not spending on foolishness.
Vernon again

Brattleboro, VT

#4 Nov 30, 2010
p.s. Another thing. Our police cruisers should NOT be used as a taxi service. Picking up children from school or day camp. They also should have the cars ALL OF THEM parked at the Vernon PD when not in use, and not in peoples driveways. You drive your own vehicles to work and you leave in them after. Does the insurance even cover them being in private citizens yard off duty? Let alone in another town?
Anywhere

New York, NY

#5 Nov 30, 2010
They need to get rid of people in the town offices. How many assistant town clerks do we have? How many do we need? Why do we need 3 full-time listers? That should be a one person part-time job. They have one guy to take care of one building - the town building and he has an assistant. Can't the town road crew or the rec department, mow the lawn? The road crews start early in the morning so they get 1/2 a day off on Friday - but don't move around until after 9:00. So, we pay them to sit around for a couple of hours each day. While the rec department doesn't pay for itself - it does bring in money and has worthwhile programs. I always thought a police department was a good idea but am thinking maybe we should hire the sheriff's department.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#6 Nov 30, 2010
"You all need to work harder , you have our homestead taxes which was suppose to help towns, yet I do not see where that's working so well here. Raised our taxes, yet again, and you blow money to the wind on ridiculous costs that could of waited. Town office rugs for instance, painting, signs, additions to buildings, in case you haven't heard we should be tightening our budgets not spending on foolishness."

Vernon again, do you volunteer for committees in Vernon? Do you volunteer your time to make Vernon better? If you do then that is great and I agree with many of your thoughts. If you do not then you need to work harder and volunteer and help make the type of changes you are talking about. If you never volunteer and sit back and complain, then shame on you.

By the way what additions were made this year to buildings this year? I dont remember any. I think painting makes sense as its cheaper to do upkeep (painting etc) rather repairing the damage that is done due to lack of upkeep. The town rugs were replaced as part of the capital plan which is long term planning and should have been only replaced when needed, I think they call it end of life. The capital plan is usually well explained by that committee at town meeting. If I remember correctly that committee has lowered the yearly payment in the capital plan by tens of thousands of dollars.(Just thinking back to the power point I saw at town meeting.) I would consider that a tax reduction. The budgets on the other hand I agree are out of control and are why our taxes keep going up. There are a few departments in this town that shouldn't just be able to level fund but rather could cut their budgets 10% without loss of service at all.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#7 Nov 30, 2010
Vernon again wrote:
p.s. Another thing. Our police cruisers should NOT be used as a taxi service. Picking up children from school or day camp. They also should have the cars ALL OF THEM parked at the Vernon PD when not in use, and not in peoples driveways. You drive your own vehicles to work and you leave in them after. Does the insurance even cover them being in private citizens yard off duty? Let alone in another town?
I agree police cruisers should not be abused. When it was suggested to drop the police dept to 2 cruisers, I voted for it. That being said someone is on call from the PD at all times so it does make sense to me to have the cars in their driveway. If I need police at my house right a way in the middle of the night then I do not want to wait for him to drive to the PD to get a car.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#8 Nov 30, 2010
Anywhere wrote:
They need to get rid of people in the town offices. How many assistant town clerks do we have? How many do we need? Why do we need 3 full-time listers? That should be a one person part-time job. They have one guy to take care of one building - the town building and he has an assistant. Can't the town road crew or the rec department, mow the lawn? The road crews start early in the morning so they get 1/2 a day off on Friday - but don't move around until after 9:00. So, we pay them to sit around for a couple of hours each day. While the rec department doesn't pay for itself - it does bring in money and has worthwhile programs. I always thought a police department was a good idea but am thinking maybe we should hire the sheriff's department.
All very good thoughts. I also think it is wrong for people to be voted in for a part time position (listers) and same people voted in for another part time position (auditors) and then add them together and get full time benefits. They voluntarily ran for 2 part time offices thus shouldnt get benefits.
hhmmmmmmmmmmm

Brattleboro, VT

#9 Nov 30, 2010
hhmmmmmmmmmmm wrote:
"You all need to work harder , you have our homestead taxes which was suppose to help towns, yet I do not see where that's working so well here. Raised our taxes, yet again, and you blow money to the wind on ridiculous costs that could of waited. Town office rugs for instance, painting, signs, additions to buildings, in case you haven't heard we should be tightening our budgets not spending on foolishness."
Vernon again, do you volunteer for committees in Vernon? Do you volunteer your time to make Vernon better? If you do then that is great and I agree with many of your thoughts. If you do not then you need to work harder and volunteer and help make the type of changes you are talking about. If you never volunteer and sit back and complain, then shame on you.
By the way what additions were made this year to buildings this year? I dont remember any. I think painting makes sense as its cheaper to do upkeep (painting etc) rather repairing the damage that is done due to lack of upkeep. The town rugs were replaced as part of the capital plan which is long term planning and should have been only replaced when needed, I think they call it end of life. The capital plan is usually well explained by that committee at town meeting. If I remember correctly that committee has lowered the yearly payment in the capital plan by tens of thousands of dollars.(Just thinking back to the power point I saw at town meeting.) I would consider that a tax reduction. The budgets on the other hand I agree are out of control and are why our taxes keep going up. There are a few departments in this town that shouldn't just be able to level fund but rather could cut their budgets 10% without loss of service at all.
you sound very much like a select board member. Yes I do volunteer by the way.
vernontaxpayer

Springfield, MA

#10 Nov 30, 2010
hhmmmmmmmmmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
All very good thoughts. I also think it is wrong for people to be voted in for a part time position (listers) and same people voted in for another part time position (auditors) and then add them together and get full time benefits. They voluntarily ran for 2 part time offices thus shouldnt get benefits.
Do you mean the listers that don't even go down half of the roads in town and still reappraise houses for $60k more than they are worth?
vernontaxpayer

Springfield, MA

#11 Nov 30, 2010
hhmmmmmmmmmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
you sound very much like a select board member. Yes I do volunteer by the way.
I , too, volunteer several times a year for the past several years and in many capacities. It is not up to me as a volunteer to make things better, it is up to the elected officials to do what is right for the tax payers, not what helps them or their friends. My taxes have gone up $1600 a year in the last few years and I have nothing to show for it. Start making cuts of needless spending and use the resources you already have. What is the selectboard going to do when they are the only residents left after they drive out the rest of us?
Vernonite

Brattleboro, VT

#12 Nov 30, 2010
Wow ! People finally want to cut expenses in Vernon. Okay, I have vol. in the past just to let everyone know. One of the biggest problems in the town as it has always been has been the selectman of Vernon. For years they tried to get the fire dept. in there hands. They finally have, and look at all the signs needing people for the dept. Remember the dinners at the fire station ? Lots of hard work by those people and dance afterwards. No one cares to be involved like they did. Ofcoarse now if you are and you get married the fire dept. lets you use there big trucks for the ceremony. What a fringe benifit !! As for the police force, all you need is one fulltimer ( Chief ) and 2 part timers on call after there shift on the weekends. Vernon needs to think that VY is closing tomorrow and get there spending straightened out. As for the rec. dept need to get rid of the nepotism a little but they do do alot for the kids A plus job there and worth the money. Dido on the town office employees lay offs are needed. Too much sitting around and its always 100 degrees in there. If you get up more you can turn the heat down. As for the phone, cell phones for chiefs and top officers. With the select board getting to see the bills. Personal calls to the minimum. Maybe the town should look into Vonage or Majic Jack.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#13 Nov 30, 2010
hhmmmmmmmmmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
you sound very much like a select board member. Yes I do volunteer by the way.
First I would like to ask you why u felt the need to use my screen name. I am not a selectboard member just a tax paying member of this town. What I was saying is that there are positions in town that taxpayers can become part of in order to work on lowering taxes etc. I agree that things can and should be cut in order to save taxpayers money. I do an will continue to volunteer for the town. I also show up at town meeting each year and push to cut spending. What I have found in Vernon is alot of residents who complain a ton and do nothing to try and change it.
I have heard complaints about the selectboard and how wrong they are for decades. Yet people come and go on the selectboard and yet the complaints never seem to change. So the question is have we had 100 straight bad selectboard members in town or is it because maybe being a selectboard member is harder then it looks. I cant say one way or another.
The Mannings

Fairlee, VT

#14 Nov 30, 2010
I have always been proud of the town of Vernon's efforts to communicate with, listen to and act in accordance with the wishes of its residents.
Vernon has a strong record of supporting it's school and strong ongoing support and representation at the secondary school district level. Vernon is envied by most every parent that I encounter in that Vernon offers school choice at the secondary level.
Additionally, Vernon has shown equal support for its retired community members with bus services, the new Huckle Hill retirement community and including the continued operation of the Christian run nursing home and assisted living home. Vernon is a generous community, having three very active congregations in town, a volunteer fire department, wonderfully run and maintained parks and recreation department, roads and maintainence have always been a priority in town, and we host businesses that are both strong financial and volunteer based supporters of not only Vernon but in the entire region as well.
Every year at the town meeting Vernon voters consistently and with minimal discussion or objection, approve pages of request letters for monetary support from agencies in need.
However it is understandable that with the economic down turn persisting, the projected State and Federal Revenue shortfalls, and a Vermont State Government that is proven itself hostile towards Vernon's commercial and industrial tax base, that the people of Vernon are looking for their local government to be mindful of our residentís financial concerns.
agree

Brattleboro, VT

#15 Dec 1, 2010
Vernonite wrote:
Wow ! People finally want to cut expenses in Vernon. Okay, I have vol. in the past just to let everyone know. One of the biggest problems in the town as it has always been has been the selectman of Vernon. For years they tried to get the fire dept. in there hands. They finally have, and look at all the signs needing people for the dept. Remember the dinners at the fire station ? Lots of hard work by those people and dance afterwards. No one cares to be involved like they did. Ofcoarse now if you are and you get married the fire dept. lets you use there big trucks for the ceremony. What a fringe benifit !! As for the police force, all you need is one fulltimer ( Chief ) and 2 part timers on call after there shift on the weekends. Vernon needs to think that VY is closing tomorrow and get there spending straightened out. As for the rec. dept need to get rid of the nepotism a little but they do do alot for the kids A plus job there and worth the money. Dido on the town office employees lay offs are needed. Too much sitting around and its always 100 degrees in there. If you get up more you can turn the heat down. As for the phone, cell phones for chiefs and top officers. With the select board getting to see the bills. Personal calls to the minimum. Maybe the town should look into Vonage or Majic Jack.
well stated.
Vernon again

Brattleboro, VT

#16 Dec 1, 2010
hhmmmmmmmmmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
First I would like to ask you why u felt the need to use my screen name. I am not a selectboard member just a tax paying member of this town. What I was saying is that there are positions in town that taxpayers can become part of in order to work on lowering taxes etc. I agree that things can and should be cut in order to save taxpayers money. I do an will continue to volunteer for the town. I also show up at town meeting each year and push to cut spending. What I have found in Vernon is alot of residents who complain a ton and do nothing to try and change it.
I have heard complaints about the selectboard and how wrong they are for decades. Yet people come and go on the selectboard and yet the complaints never seem to change. So the question is have we had 100 straight bad selectboard members in town or is it because maybe being a selectboard member is harder then it looks. I cant say one way or another.
Sorry missed placed its location. Was not intentional.
I would also like to mention I just read the town paper, why is it nothing is mentioned anymore about what the police do? I guess Vernon does not need all these new officers, since our town seems to be crime free. When Chief Turnley was around I remember seeing these articles and also the Chief did things with the kids in school. I know alot of the kids miss him, as well. Hopefully the selectboard has learned an age old quote "the grass is not alway greener on the other side"

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#17 Dec 1, 2010
I can't answer that question. I guess the only way to get an answer is to talk with the curret chief and ask her what her plans are for the school. I agree that the DARE program is something worthwhile and should NOT be dropped.

I personally think the amount Vernon spends on a police force for a town so small is outrageous. I think it would be a great idea for the town to entertain the idea of having an outside organization provide our police coverage if there could be a large savings. I am not sure if there would be a savings but worth investigating. Also it does beg the question for a small town with a population under 2500 is police coverage needed full time?
Vernon

Brattleboro, VT

#18 Dec 1, 2010
vernontaxpayer wrote:
<quoted text>
I , too, volunteer several times a year for the past several years and in many capacities. It is not up to me as a volunteer to make things better, it is up to the elected officials to do what is right for the tax payers, not what helps them or their friends. My taxes have gone up $1600 a year in the last few years and I have nothing to show for it. Start making cuts of needless spending and use the resources you already have. What is the selectboard going to do when they are the only residents left after they drive out the rest of us?
I commend you on this post. It states the truth and to the point. Thank you.
2009 oct

Brattleboro, VT

#19 Dec 1, 2010
A year ago and still unresolved conflict and people's opinion's have not swayed . The select board has no business in the fire dept nor police dept, they are not qualified to run either. Like many others I still agree Chief Turnley got a bad deal. Sure better than what we have now.
http://www.topix.com/forum/source/brattleboro...
Concerned Citizen

Chelsea, MA

#20 Dec 2, 2010
Vernon again wrote:
Vernon’s police force has a significant budgetary proposal in its specials line item and in staff salaries, but mainly because the department hired more full-time officers than in years past. Ok.. Vernon does not need these extra officers so certain ones don't have to work. Nor do they need a 40 hour a week receptionist, which has been proven in the past that their is NOT enough work to keep that position open for 40 hrs. Vernon needs 3 full time officers ( one being the chief) and two part time. Anymore than that is a waste. Put that on the town vote! The town is already dealing with one law suite , and word around town is more to come concerning the Vernon PD,
I do not think the people of Vernon will tolerate much more abuse from this dept.
The Vernon Rec, MORE should be done in that area, for the kids and adults. They have outstanding programs and do alot of good in keeping kids busy during all seasons.
Assistant fire chief, Andrews called it like it is having the heads justify their budgets.
Mike Courtemanche has done an outstanding job in speaking up and making adjustments, and trying to cut some costs...But adding the phone system to a system like comcast, would jeopardize calls especially to fire and police, if we lose power , which Vernon is famous for. No computer no phone as well.
$18,000 on travel expenses????? WOW, now that is crazy. So is a 12,000.00 phone bill yearly. I also do NOT think that we need to pay for cell phone expenses unless you are part of the fire dept, the police already have their own equipment. Their alot of expenses that need cutting here. The town newspaper should of been printed on recycled paper and its not. So to put it on line for the people to access it makes more sense, and will cut cost as well.
You all need to work harder , you have our homestead taxes which was suppose to help towns, yet I do not see where that's working so well here. Raised our taxes, yet again, and you blow money to the wind on ridiculous costs that could of waited. Town office rugs for instance, painting, signs, additions to buildings, in case you haven't heard we should be tightening our budgets not spending on foolishness.
Did you ever stop to think that perhaps the clerk's increase in hours and increase of her hourly rate of pay was payment for helping the select board screw over former Chief Turnley??

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