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

January 29, 2010
Goffstown Voters Have a Choice to Make

If Goffstown voters don’t change direction, then they will end up where they are headed…much higher property taxes. That may not be a problem for some, yet for others it will be a big problem.

Goffstown is potentially looking at a several dollar property tax increase per one thousand dollars of assessed home value. This could happen for several reasons:

  1. The absence of a large one-time funds transfer to last year’s schools’ budget.
  2. A large requested increase in the schools’ budgets for next year.
  3. Several large town’s warrant article requests such as for land purchases
  4. The possibility of voters reversing the Budget Committee budget reductions.
  5. The possibility of additional budget increases from voters on Feb 1st and 3rd

The consequences of the above actions include the doubling of voters tax bills this decade as the tax bills have done for many decades. Imagine your own property tax bill doubling this decade…and next! And next! And next! Ad infinitum.

Why would things change on their own? Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is one definition of insanity. In order to change things, a change in direction is really necessary. Notice also what it takes to change direction.

Rushing from the left side of the train to the right side of the train doesn’t change the direction in which the train is headed. To change the direction in which the train is headed, it is necessary to get out in front of the train and lay some new track!

What “laying some new track” means for Goffstown is looking at the personnel expenditures within the various budgets. Roughly three quarters of Goffstown’s total budget (schools + departments) is for personnel compensation. Take 3/4s of the budget off the budget table and what is left? Heat? Electricity? Road salt? Repairs? Roads?

The “personnel compensation budget lines” are also the “third rail” of Goffstown politics.

“Goffstown has binding contractual agreements.” “Voters will never agree to any cuts in services.” These are familiar refrains heard around town. The veiled threats of work stoppages such as “raising the plows, removing the crossing guards, closing the fire stations and not buying books/pencils/paper” are also frequently heard. “This is the way that Goffstown has always done it and it can’t be changed” is a perpetual rallying cry from residents who have been around town for a while. Fortunately for Goffstown things can change. “Change is a constant!” “Things change!”

Goffstown could change and choose to look closely at all administrative costs for instance.

The clear choice that Goffstown voters have is: Will the change be that of another resident…or your own? Choose! If you’re not there Feb 1st & 3rd, you don’t get to choose.

Choose to continue with the status quo. Choose to level fund with last years budget (or a true default budget.) Choose a zero property tax impact budget. Whatever you do, choose!

The best time to have chosen change was years ago. The next best time is Feb 1st & 3rd.

I just thought that you had the “Right to Know (R2K.)




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