Thanks, Keenan! I will pass the info along. At the last workshop, we had a bona-fide steel building expert with many years in the business come to our town [u]on his own time[/u], to give the KFD a look at the new technology and the benefits. We also toured his local facilities beforehand, to see in person what was offered.
The greeting he got from our board and the local FD in return for his time and effort? He was booed, lambasted, and shut down until he gave up trying to speak. It was an absolute disgrace.
He's on the budget board of a nearby town, and he couldn't believe how rude and unprofessional our selectmen were. Not to mention the rude conduct of the fire people, and that the board allowed them to get away with such lousy mistreatment of taxpayers in public.
I'm sure we're now a lousy legend in his own town. Great representation of our area, huh?
quote: The greeting he got from our board and the local FD? He was booed, lambasted, and shut down until he gave up trying to speak. It was an absolute disgrace.
You have got to be kidding.
I sure wish I was kidding. But I'm not. Like I said, the First Amendment is dead in Kennebunk.
Naran,Why you gotta be causing so much trouble???? If you would just let the MEN who KNOW MORE than you do the jobs they were given it would all work out for the best. Really now!Perhaps your talents could be used to organize some sort of open house or ribbon cutting???? :D ;)
Oh, I do so agree with you. What I wouldn't give to just do all those useless little feminine things, like making nice sandwiches, and keeping a tidy house, and baking up a storm. Not to mention impeccable grooming, and looking nice at all times. Gee, being a girl is a fulltime job!
The problem was, the town lied to me on some issues, and then my tax bills just kept getting higher, and my kid's education was going straight downhill, in spite of that pesky budget increase of 98% over the last 11 years!
So, I had no choice but to get involved, and stay that way. Much to THE MENS' Chagrin down there, at the town hall, the fire department, the police department, the highway department, the school district... shall I keep going?
In the meantime, I still do a fabulous job imitating June Cleaver, so anytime you'd like a stellar cup of coffee, and a nice sandwich, you stop on over, y' hear?
I am sure you do both well. I too, love to take care of my home....I should, it costs me enough. Getting involved with your town is a good thing Naran. If we don't price out town jobs, or price check what we are paying for with our taxes...it is like giving someone our personal check book and tell them to have fun!
[b]Why, Just Add a Calculator, and It's ME![/b]
I think I am becoming addicted to AMG!!! So much great stuff on here I never know where to start.Berwick will hopefully aquire the property formally The Berwick Elementary School which has been closed due to declining enrollments and will seek to erect a public safety building police/fire on that 6plus acre sight. I thank you all so much for the information regarding steel buildings. Now I can do some good research and have a presentation for our Board of Selectmen, who by the way are pretty much fiscal conservatives!!! Most of them even signed my petitions for TABOR.Thanks again Naran...you always seem to give me great info!
You're entirely welcome, Beth. The man who came to our meeting was super.. Dave Cote, in Acton. He's with a company called General Steel. He really knows his stuff, and he's great to work with.Hope you have better luck than we are having with this issue in Kennebunk.. it's discouraging to be attacked because we're trying to keep the tax rate to a dull roar, instead of a raging bonfire.We've stated our support for a new facility many times, but they refuse to believe it. Instead, they keep saying the cost and location concerns are a blind for our "real agenda" of trying to deny them the facility. *sigh* It just ain't so.Good luck with yours!
quote:Originally posted by Beth O'Connor:
[b]I think I am becoming addicted to AMG!!! [/b]
Addicted to AMG impossible, don't be silly.[url=http://www.asmainegoes.com/ubb-scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=28...Hey I ain't no stinkin' addict. ;)
[b]Holly on Her Day Off[/b][img]http://www.adorablekidsdressup.com/Dress%20Up%20Images/Page12n/White%20H...
[b]Holly's New and Improved Slippers[/b]
:D I love fuzzy slippers
So do I![img]http://www.neophi.com/home/danielr/fun/e_bunny11.jpg[/img]
You have a bunny with a "toe" fetish ?
This bump brought to you by the [color=blue]Shameless Commerce Division[/color] of Rabblerousers Inc.
At the last public hearing, October 11th, I made a statement that the new additional surplus of $1.7M should be saved, because we're looking at a potential school budget increase in Kennebunk of perhaps $1-2M. I asked our town manager what contingency plans he had if this proves true, and the surplus was already spent.
He tried to say my numbers were specious, and never answered the question. I answered it for him - the increase will come out of taxes, via the mill rate. The surplus will be gone, if the current surplus spending proposals are voted in, and there will be no other way to fund the new school bill if it rises.
Then he asked me if the budget might just be a wash... in other words, what if they managed to make enough cuts within the new budget that it didn't go up? Well, that would be an unusual occurrence. Hasn't happened for at least the last 12 years, but hey, anything's possible.
Let's see though... last year they cut over 11 positions, and the budget still went up 5%. The most they can probably cut this year, even in keeping with EPS, is 3 positions.
I just don't see that "wash" scenario happening.
My numbers came from a member of the town's school budget liaison board, who has been attending every finance commitee meeting, and has overseen the budgets for years. It's very simple. Since LD1 negated our traditional funding formula for anything under the cap, any increases due to the new staff contracts will be paid for by Kennebunk. Kennebunkport will see nothing but decreases from here on out, on anything under the cap. (Over the cap, the old funding formula would hold).
In addition, due to LD1, we are already facing at least a $150K decrease in funding, due to the state increase in property valuation for Kennebunk. SAD 71 has also stated they are facing a $250K shortfall due to fuel/utility increases for the coming year.
If you take a budget that is currently over $27M, and you increase that budget even 2.5% due to new staff contract increases, and you add in the $150K loss from state funding, and the $250K fuel shortfall, that's $1M (+/-) more that Kennebunk will have to pay. Since the other school district costs will rise as well, like maintenance, supplies, etc., chances are very good the real increase will be more like 5%. It was last year.
That equals a potential $2M (+/-) increase for Kennebunk, if the new school budget is voted in.
Right now, the total amount of surplus that Kennebunk has on hand is $5.9M, according to the town auditor. This was stated at the last selectmen's meeting. They stated that they need to keep two months' running expenses on hand, which equals about $4.2M. That leaves $1.7M, of which they are currently proposing to spend $1,019,000 on all the surplus issues at the special town meeting on November 15th. (Plus another $1.4M in proposed bonding/interest. This totals $3.2 MILLION in new spending, [b]outside of the regular budget process[/b]).
If those surplus proposals are voted in Nov. 15th, that would only leave $681K in surplus above the two month reserve. The town is definitely going to have some serious fuel/utility shortages this winter, between the police dept, fire dept, highway dept, plowing, town administration travel, etc. Everyone is going to. Why would the town be any different?
So, I say it again. The selectmen need to go back to the regular budget process. They need to keep the extra money for now, until the school bills come due. That would be the prudent, fiscally responsible thing to do.
Thanks for listening.... I see some of you are still perusing the thread, to see if there's anything new coming along. I will add more thoughts as I have time. I hope you're reading the other threads as well... there's a lot of really fine thinking from some of the people on this site. A lot to be learned.
Oh, but I have an excuse! I hadn't put my lenses in yet that morning.
It's a Disability Thing.
Can I get a Federal grant? :lol:
[color=blue]Since the Star didn't print my letter this week, here it is, for anyone interested. I am tired of their constant editorializing masquerading as news reporting. I am also very tired of the oppressive actions of the chairman of our board of selectmen with regard to public statements at meetings.[/color].
To the Editor:
Your staff seems confused as to the difference between an editorial (thoughts and opinions) and a news article (a factual account of events). Mr. Bodwell's recent news article, in which he incorrectly "interpreted" my statements at the firestation public hearing, is not factual.
At the public hearing on October 11th, I stated that I do support a new firestation. (That means "yes," I do think we need one, Mr. Bodwell. Your personal interpretation that 'I continued my non-support for the station' is not "news," it's your opinion, and doesn't belong in a news article).
I also stated that the selectmen, town manager, and fire department should give a fair hearing to any bids for a comparable steel building, if it could save the town some money.
Speech, correctly repeated or not, seems to be a general issue at recent Kennebunk meetings. Mr. Wellman, board chairman, is doing a fine imitation of an oldtime kindergarten teacher, lecturing and hectoring any speakers he disagrees with.
Mr. Walker, a member of the Kennebunk budget board, tried to make a statement at the public hearing. His intent was to propose a referendum vote on the firestation, instead of the proposed town meeting format.
He was treated with severe rudeness by Mr. Wellman, and his microphone was repeatedly shut off. He was not allowed to complete his statement. Why? His comments were about the firestation. It was a public hearing. Was it simply because the chairman didn't agree with his comments?
Perhaps our chairman could take a lesson from the Port selectmen, who welcome all public input with a gracious attitude. They recently instituted a public forum for that very purpose, at the start of their meetings. Port residents may address their board on any issue, no prior notice required.
I would encourage our own board to be more receptive, instead of pursuing the current atmosphere of oppression. It serves no one. It creates a perception the board wants no "interference" from the public while conducting the business of government. Which is supposed to be "For the People, and By the People."
The "People" wish to be heard, and we have the Constitutional right to be heard. Oppression serves no one.
Great response Naran.
Thanks, Charlotte. I'm not surprised it wasn't printed, it's not the first time. Naturally the answer would be "we didn't have space this week."
If their reporter wants to write editorials, he should apply for the editor's job. Otherwise, he should report the news, and stop injecting his opinions. Maybe they teach journalism differently these days, but that's not the way I learned it.
So right Naran...report the facts. I had a friend show up at a meeting and she too was mis-quoted. I think that is just unprofessional...and wrong.
Some here in Brunswick researched steel buildings as well, and visited some recently built ones (Oxford was one, I think.)
But the town fathers just couldn't see anything but the most expensive approach as acceptable....full brick construction, including a "drying tower." even though we're told modern hoses don't need to be hung up to dry.
Result? What could have come in for under $1 million is underway for $2.5 million. With the usual overruns, will probably end up at $3M.
We used to build public buildings that would last over a hundred years, now we build cookie cutter buildings that will last forty and look like crap in twenty.
If we could get the prices for construction people used to get, fine. Unfortunately, labor and materials aren't that cheap anymore. Not like they were a hundred years ago. Try building a big ol' brick library now, and you're talking $10M, if not more. That's probably the starting price for an architect on a building like that.
The steel buildings I saw were over 11 years old, and looked brand new. The owner of one said he only has someone come in once a year and tighten everything up, no other maintenance has been done. There was zero sign of rust anywhere, and this building has water in it every single day. It's an upscale auto repair shop, and they wash the vehicles after fixing them.
They have radiant heating in the floor, and the venting is done properly. He said he goes home with the floor completely soaked, and when he comes back in the next morning, everything is bone dry.
Mel, I sympathize with the situation in Brunswick. It's hard to watch it happen, and be forced to pay the bills at the same time.
[quote="Steven Scharf"]My first rule of public comment:
ALWAYS GO LAST!Although the body you are speaking to can say nasty things about your comments, other members of the public cannot. You also can respond to what they have to say. I use this effectively in planning board meeting to remind the board that they should ingnore the idiot NIMBYs.It is specally fun to see folks who have already spoken try to get back up to refute my comments only to be shut down by the chair.I even played chicken with Herb Adams once, with both of us trying to be the last to speak. He finnally got up to speak to the city council and I followed him with comments directly contradictory to his.Steven ScharfSCSMedia@aol.com[/quote]
VERY wise indeed, but with two caveats. Speak while the press is there, and don't waste your time on tactics if the issue is already decided (like the annual tax increase)
In those cases play to the press.
[quote="Gaffer"]Don't get me wrong, I too support the fire departments but I have looked at them a different way after seeing the TV ads last fall with the Lewiston Fire Chief saying that they could not protect homes if the Tax cap passed. There also was the anti Tax Cap rally on Eastern Prom with fire people from as far away as Bangor in uniform and turn out gear. My town's fire dept has gotten two new trucks in the past 2 years, the budget asked for $100,000 for operational expenses and now they want an additional $36,000 for training stipends for the dept. Most of what they do is pump out basements, train and go to an occasional fire. They need to charge for false alarms, smoke detector alarms, Carbom monoxide alarms, Basement pumping, cat up a tree and all these other items that use this expensive equipment. Let the user pay! I can't afford to cover for someone elses carelessness.[/quote]
I have to sort of disagree. Why pay taxes for services and then charge again when the service is provided?
What should be looked at is the need to respond with an EMT vehicle, a hook and ladder truck, half a dozen police cars, and a host of misc people, when a car runs off the road and hits a tree without any damage to anyone at all.
[b]Why, Just Add a Calculator, and It's ME![/b][/quote]
Oh I don't know. I have a better shot and with good company:
We should privatize fire protection. Get the government out of the business all together.
[quote]What should be looked at is the need to respond with an EMT vehicle, a hook and ladder truck, half a dozen police cars, and a host of misc people, when a car runs off the road and hits a tree without any damage to anyone at all.[/quote]
Jim, were you in Kennebunk yesterday?? That's precisely what I hear happened yesterday.
Nope but it does not surprise me. It is the canned response to everything from a major confla :roll: gration to a kitten in a tree.