• Writer is way off base
    March 02,2013

    Writer is way off base

    Mr. Chris Maloney is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to his version of the facts. In his March 1, letter Mr. Maloney alleges that the city entered into “a new contract (including a hefty pay hike) to the police/fire chief before last year’s budget was even voted in.” Mr. Maloney has no idea what he is talking about. His allegation is simply false. I know because I signed the contract. Mr. Bombardier’s employment contract as chief of police, fire and EMS services was renewed at the same salary he has been paid since January 2009. He received no compensation adjustment — period!

    In this letter, Mr. Maloney continues to cast aspersions by further stating “(using the water and sewer department funds to buy $800,0000 worth of fire trucks. ….I get to pay twice to fund the fire department — once through taxes and again by diligently paying my water bill.” Again, pure and reckless distortion of the facts. First, the total purchase price of both vehicles was $746,000. Further, the first HME Fire Truck purchase was funded through a loan from the Sewer Enterprise Fund to the General Fund. Inter-Fund loans are a common practice in municipal finance and are perfectly acceptable to, and accounted for, by the auditors in their annual audits of the city’s finances. The General Fund will pay interest to the Sewer Enterprise Fund for the use of the borrowed money. There is nothing untoward about this practice. Sewer users do not pay one cent to the purchase of this fire truck. There is no double-dipping as Mr. Maloney so recklessly states.

    Just as significant, the second HME Fire Truck was funded through a 10-year lease agreement with the Municipal Leasing Credit Corporation. Again, this has nothing to do with the Water/Sewer Enterprise Funds.

    As is often the case, there are many factually incorrect myths and rumors that run amok “on the street,” and they are typically fueled by people who think they know what they are talking about, but who really don’t. Mr. Maloney has never once bothered to contract me to obtain factual information or to discuss his issues of concern about city operations or finances and/or to at least get the facts, even if he does disagree.

    I caution Barre City taxpayers to consider, if not question, the source of the street talk they hear every day. Do not believe everything you hear just because somebody is boisterous enough to spout off with no regard for the facts just for the sole intent of furthering one’s own agenda and/or disparaging the work of others who are committed to and working hard to make Barre a better place.

    Steven E. Mackenzie

    Barre City Manager

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