Sunday, March 18, 2018

Looking down the road a bit, will there be a Templeton crafts fair this year? I mean if selectmen opined due to school construction, the senior mac n cheese festival cannot be on the common, I do not see how the craft fair can be held there.

Again, some good ides,thoughts and discussion on things here, hopefully they are brought to the open forum or sooner. I think the Town needs all the ideas that can be brought forward. I did learn something yesterday while walking around knocking on doors; people do know things are happening, some people wonder if selectmen know there are residents outside of Town hall, people do wonder about the roads, talk of override (s), why is the school hiring another assistant principal, what is the new school going to cost, how much are taxes really going up. Fact is, quite a few people do know things, understand things, but are looking for explanations and information.

If one takes time to leave Town Hall and go out to meet and speak with the people, listen and hear what their concerns are, it may help to create a path to go down and get people involved.
My opinion is, do not say people do not understand, because they do get their tax bill, they drive down the roads, they do read the newspaper, they do talk with other people. The mission should be, perhaps, get these people to town meeting and have a discussion. Perhaps it should not be to see how quickly the meeting can be over, perhaps it should not be how convenient a meeting can be for selectmen, perhaps it should be, how can this meeting benefit residents.

Just a thought or two.
Community Preservation Act and the funds that come with it.

Again, this may seem one of those things that we could do without or do better with it, as one recent comment suggested -

Anonymous2:12 PM
Here's a ready source of money for the general fund - convert CPA taxes to an override.

Ask for a new town meeting vote to eliminate the CPA tax. The ask for an override in the exact same amount.

CPA was a nice idea, but can Templeton spend that money better? Yes, it could be spent on general government services, which are the town's reason for being.

The state has gradually reduced the match. FY2018 resulted in the lowest match to date.

Thoughts on this??
First, I see a loss of the matching state funds, whatever dollar figure that may be. I consider what the CPA may be used for and one item is recreation, passive or active.

“Recreational use”, active or passive recreational use including, but not limited to, the use of land for community gardens, trails, and noncommercial youth and adult sports, and the use of land as a park, playground or athletic field. “Recreational use” shall not include horse or dog racing or the use of land for a stadium, gymnasium or similar structure.
Perhaps the Town, by way of some open forums could come to some sort of consensus (not here) on whether they wish to have these items available and paid for by tax dollars. Probably not an easy task, but perhaps one to be considered. Remember, there is a skate park fund with at least a couple thousand dollars of donated money sitting on the Town's books, what is to become of those monies? The Town owns 20 something acres of and off of Wellington Road - across from the new school. There is no access from the road to this property that I know of. Perhaps some kind of agreement with a land owner could help with that. I think, it could be of value to the kids in grade school, 1 -5 to go out and see nature, perhaps gain interest in science or something. Or just be a little kid and have fun at recess, if they still have that. By the way, alot of that town land is wet, very wet sometimes.
Genera government services: sometimes I cringe when I see or hear that; here is why - I walk into Town Hall, there is an accountant, an assistant to the accountant, a town clerk, an assistant to the clerk, a deputy assessor and an assistant to the deputy assessor and so on. The "government" has gotten bigger and cost more, but has the service improved enough to justify the increase in cost? Yes, an office will be open when the main person is off for whatever reason, such as vacation of illness or school, meetings etc. The question is, could/would the service function, as in complete it's reason for being, whether the office was closed on occasion for any of the above mentioned issues. Yes, having an assistant makes ones job easier, is that the responsibility of the taxpayer? There is always the efficiency issue and the office is always open for the ease of the taxpayer, etc. 

At one time, taxpayers paid health insurance for elected positions, it was eliminated while saving at the time, around 80 thousand dollars per year. Some resigned when the insurance was stopped. Then, came elected position pay, cut and saving at the time, around 60 thousand dollars, still, people run for office.

Back to CPA, perhaps before we decide to change it, we have some true open discussion on the matter, while remembering, town meeting does not have to vote for every item brought before them by way of CPA funds/projects. Perhaps this would be a subject/topic for the planned open forum scheduled and perhaps a member of the community preservation committee can attend to try and answer some of these things.