Goffstown's Debilitating Deliberative Session
The art of compromise as practiced by the Board of Selectmen Wednesday evening compromised the other appropriation articles on the ballot. The Selectmen, for a short term gain of a half a million dollars in this budget cycle, will probably cost the town millions in the long run when the beleaguered taxpayers revolt and vote down the opportunity to buy the Barnard Property and the Robert's Farm easement and flush the Main Street program and crush the vehicle lease articles.
The Budget Committee worked very hard to bring forward a budget that would fund the operation of the town without requiring drastic cutbacks in services or staffing reductions, while holding the tax rate increase to a minimum. The Board of Selectmen knew better and now you will have to decide what might need to be reduced in terms of the appropriation articles to make your family budget work. I am not advocating any particular articles to vote against; however, I would not blame a voter if they feel that is the only way to gain a little relief is to not against an appropriation article.
The vote on the motion brought forward by Mr. Gross was
87 for and 86 against and there was one ballot that Mr. Rodney Stark, the long-time Town Moderator deemed invalid because it was torn in half. Tim Redmond came forward and wanted his vote counted as he had the other half of the ballot in hand. The decision was to not count the vote because it was a secret ballot. In my opinion, the concept of a secret ballot is solely to protect the privacy of the voter and Mr. Redmond's right to disclose how he voted publicly is protected by the 1st Amendment of the U S Constitution was violated. If the vote had been counted as I think it should have been counted, the result would have been a tie; therefore, the motion to increase the budget would have failed.
Wednesday night's deliberative session was debilitating.