Tales from the BudComm - Fred, please remember you were part of the problem you are bellyaching about - Granite Grok

Tales from the BudComm – Fred, please remember you were part of the problem you are bellyaching about

BudgetOK, Fred Butler has another LtE in the local paper and, of course, he is off-point.  Not only off-point in the way that our own inimitable commenter Timothy (factual but of no real relevance in his own special Progressive way) but blames the BudComm for not cutting budgets.  To which I point out, he was part of that problem:

To the Editor,

Fred Butler complains, again, in his Letter of today, of how little the cuts have been to the Municipal and School District budget that the Gilford Budget Committee has made over the years. He knows why – during the time I was on the BuddComm while he was there, I can’t remember a single time he voted in favor of saving taxpayers some money. In fact, near one of the end of BudComm seasons, he argued in favor of more money for the town employees along the lines of “think of the economic impact that would have as they spend it on Christmas presents”.

Shades of Bastiat’s broken window – he failed to mention the economic impact if that money had simply been left in Gilford’s taxpayers wallets.

He also fails to mention that with a large BudComm that was almost evenly split among the “savers” and the “spenders”, the democratic process meant that it was rather difficult to make wholesale cuts (especially on the School District side where almost everything is wrapped up contractually and therefore removing it from the BudComm’s oversight eyes by dint of state statutes. More importantly, he also fails to mention that oversight’s “governor” mechanism – how much larger and faster would Gilford’s budgets be growing if it was known that there was no one there to act as that very necessary fiscal speedbump? Is that the reason why he never voted to cut spending and has tried a couple of times to remove the concept of having a Budget Committee? Hmmm…

I know think a better way of putting “savers and spenders” should have been “protectors of the taxpayer wallets” versus “we’re Gilford, we can spend it” to better give the nuance of the completely different viewpoints.  Oh well – his full LtE:


Gilford’s Budget Committee Chairman and I don’t agree on a lot when it comes to the Budget Committee. For instance, I like to present data to support my arguments as part of a civil discourse, whereas he prefers empty rhetoric and threats of litigation. As an example, I recently wrote a letter to this paper pointing to the (now) eight-year (2011-18) track record of the Budget Committee’s shaving a mere 0.16 percent ($465,000 of $295 million) off of the Selectmen’s/School Board’s recommended budgets — despite scrutinizing those budgets for 2,000-plus hours of meeting time alone — as Exhibit A, that there’s got to be a better way to serve the taxpayers. (No business person would hire a consultant that ineffective, even for “free.”) His rebuttal contained not one fact, as he again chose to assail my character instead.

One thing we likely both agree on, though: If there are two nights of the year Gilford’s taxpayers should get involved with, it’s the School and Town Deliberative Sessions on Feb. 6 and Feb 8, respectively, starting at 7 p.m. You learn a lot about how the town and school operate, and have the power to significantly alter the budget with a single vote. Mark your calendars.

Fred Butler