Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

   
October 2, 2009
MEMBER EDITORIAL
 
Fiscal Facts About Goffstown
By
BILL GORDON


CONSIDER THESE FACTS ABOUT GOFFSTOWN...

  • About one in sixteen households are town/school employees. (6300 housing units/400 employees)
  • Approximately 70% of the combined town/school budget is spent on personnel.
  • That means that the 'average' employee costs nearly $90K in salary and benefits.
  • That means an annual earnings of about $55K on 'average'.
  • The median annual earnings of full-time, year-round wage earners in Goffstown is somewhere around $35K.

Take that $55K and bump it just the 4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and the increase is about $1,650 a year after taxes.  Town employees also may qualify for additional increases for longevity as well as step increases.

Meanwhile, over 2,000 senior citizens in this town will see a decrease in their monthly Social Security checks due to increase in Medicare premiums!  In addition, during the recent economic downturn, even the most carefully managed 401K has lost significant value; this means that senior citizens are getting squeezed and squeezed hard.  I expect that these folks will never again see a revenue stream they had two or three years ago.

Private sector employees are not seeing corresponding increases in their paychecks on average.  For them, the last time 4%+ COLA increases were commonplace was in the last century!  Instead, they are suffering cuts in their benefit packages, bonuses, etc.  That is, if they even have a job, as the unemployment rates is still heading upward in spite of "leading economic indicators".  

Today, the fortunate employed workers are now expected to produce more than they were just a decade ago.  The end, for this group, is not in sight for quite a long time.

And there are pages upon pages of real estate foreclosure notices in the Union Leader every day.  That tells me times are still very tough.

In one way or another, nearly every voter in Goffstown is a taxpayer, either directly or indirectly.

My song:

Goffstown voters, the majority of whom are not in the above-mentioned fortunate 400 town/school employees, do not have the income to foot the bill for the budget increases envisioned by the school district and fire, public works and police departments.  In addition, the town is not growing in population as rapidly as planned, and the school population is actually dropping off.

The personnel lines are where the monies are to be found - there I said it!  

Looking outside of Goffstown, there are models existing as to how adjustments to these personnel lines have been successfully implemented. 

I say to the school district, fire department, public works department and police departments: Please give us service at a price we can afford without holding us hostage with your time-worn themes.  

You might start by asking how the town's library, town administration and parks & recreation departments are bringing forward fiscally conservative budgets this year.


 

 


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Copyrightę 2008, Goffstown Residents Association.  All Rights Reserved.