• Let’s be honest now
    January 30,2014
     

    Let’s be honest now

    In addition to paying off debt related to the downtown Barre upgrades, residents must shoulder the balance of tax breaks granted to new downtown business construction. To add insult to injury, we are going to be forced to pay to build parking, while at the same time enjoying the added benefit of having no place to park ourselves once these downtown buildings are filled with workers. I can’t even speculate the traffic nightmare that will be compounded when the office dwellers encounter the horribly synchronized traffic lights.

    I do have one solution, though: Zap the annual $800,000 “sidewalk and street” repair line item off the ballot. The budget is chronically underfunded to appear austere, then it seems to be bolstered by a favorite line item like sidewalk and streets, that the city has absolutely no intention of being used there. It happened last year and, in fact, according to The Times Argus, it happened the year before.

    Budget honesty is nil in Barre.

    I see no need to continue pretending that it will be used for that, certainly as long as the wording “or other unanticipated expenditures” is left on the ballot item. Talk about a “get out of jail free” card. I say round-file it now.

    When are our elected officials going to draw the line on the side of voters, instead of the 9-to-5 business? When am I going to get my tax break to improve my humble dwelling? The answer? I bet you know the answer by heart. My checkbook sure does.

    Christopher Maloney

    Barre

    Too little, too late

    In his State of the Union speech, President Obama threw a few meager scraps at the howling dogs of protest to quiet them. For example, $10.10 an hour is not a livable wage. It still keeps a family of three under the poverty line. After five years of betraying his constituents Obama is trying to claw his way back because he is well aware that history will not look upon his legacy favorably. Too little, too late, Mr. President, the die has been cast. Your spinelessness, from day one of your administration, has come back to haunt you. No amount of rhetorical posturing will change that.

    Al Salzman

    Fairfield

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