February 18, 2011
Voting locally is vital

To the Editor:

Last year a single torn ballot cost Goffstown a lot of money. This year may be just as important if spending increases are to be controlled. Of course, there are those voters in town who would prefer to see spending increases continue. These voters tend to be connected with the school system.

It is not to hard to understand why school employees would like to see their compensation continue to rise, especially when threatened by the school board (SB) with possible job losses. The fact that the often-maligned budget committee (BC) didn’t make these teacher/para-professional reductions seems lost in the fray. One thing not lost in the fray is the ever-increasing school spending.

At the SB deliberative session, the SB presented their own data (Warrant Article Guide, Page 4-bottom-right side) showing that the Goffstown School District cost per pupil increased from $5,727.29 in 2000-2001 to $9,579.11 in 2008-2009. That was a big increase in just 8 years.

The SB Projected Revenue Sheet, 2011-2012, handed out at the SB deliberative show that the Total Revenues and Credits would be somewhat lower than last year at very roughly $17.5 million. This means that the 2011-2012 school budget to be raised with property taxes will be very roughly around $20 million. What this means is that the local school property taxes only pay for a portion of the school budget (~$20 million out of $37.5 million total SB budget). The same SB Projected Revenue Sheet, 2011-2012, shows the NH Adequacy Grant to be almost the same as last year at ~$7.1 million. Any future reduction in this Adequacy Grant number alone would get the attention of some concerned local budget types. A look at NH state finances may give a peak at the future. See the graphic. Check out the real-time data from which the graphic data was extracted:


The State of NH appears to be spending very roughly about $3.1 billion more than it takes in from revenues. Presumably Uncle Sugar in Washington, D.C. is helping pick-up some of the tab. The only problem with that is that Uncle Sugar has some spending and revenue problems of his own:


The day that Uncle Sugar (at the insistence of the rest of the world?) decides to get the U.S. finances in order and downshifts some costs to the states, things will get interesting…or not!

The day that NH decides to get it’s financial house in order (minus Uncle Sugar’s generosity) and downshifts some costs to the local towns, things will get interesting (for the towns)…or not!

Who then gets to pick up the tab for all the spending? Awe come on, you know whom it will be.

The only way Goffstown voters will be able to affect excess spending is in Goffstown! Period!

Some SB types will also try and put their supporters on the BC. Your vote could stop that. An all SB member BC would be held powerless to control excess spending. Maybe that is the goal.

Why even have a budget committee, when the SB feels that they are the only ones qualified to set the level of available funding and casually supersedes all the BC’s apparently thankless work?

Voters get to decide the outcome only if they vote. That is the process. That is how it works…or not! Educate yourself. Go to GRA, GT, GCFR, GN and the UL for the facts. 

Then go and vote!

Ivan Beliveau





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