3/11/2005

Town Council Attendees-Lack of;

I am addressing this particular essay to the younger taxpayers of BI. Those in the age brackets from 50 back down to 20 or so. You really do need to participate or at least attend some of the Council meetings! YOUR future is being decided there, or at least the tax levies that will be assessed against you in the future. Some of you, as the people who will be financing and running this town in the next few years need to be aware of what is going on! Over the last two years, and more, there has been on average, one (1) person at most of these meetings! That is a dismal record. That one attendee has for the most part been the SAME person, time after time. She is getting a little "long in the tooth" and needs to have reinforcements to keep up the constant "surveillance" if you will, of what is going on in there. Witness the Town Consultants fiasco! Being the young homeowners and taxpayers of the future, it is in YOUR BEST INTERESTS, to become involved, and to not abrogate your responsibilities to yourself and your kids. Don't say to yourself, "let somebody else do it", because they WILL NOT have your best interests at heart! Jump in there! Make them BE accountable! TIFN Everett

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that I am only one tiny little salmon swimming the wrong way up a large stream, but I sometimes wonder how many of the "younger" folk are actually here for any long term commitment. You must remember that, with some exceptions, putting down roots without familial (or other) help is a very difficult prospect out here. Not to mention that those young families who are able to make a commitment to the community are already working long hours and would much rather be home watching their children grow up when evening comes. And, quite honestly, I am one of those poor misguided souls who aches with national pride and love of democracy but is disgusted by what "government" - on all levels - has become. Why show up and waste my evening at a town council meeting to hear Mary Jane pick on the finance director and Bob what's his name and Nancy Dodge and then claim "persecution" when they fight back. Or to hear the council talk about noise ordinances that are possible but not probable - the fall of the Roman Empire began its decline with the continued passing of unenforceable laws. Or to listen to somebody nitpick over the "letter" as compared to the "spirit" when all I really want is to be able to afford to heat my house in the winter and my kid go to school somewhere other than a trailer. Who honestly cares if the new Town Hall is ugly when there is a drug problem on the island? Folks, it's not the noise that's the problem, it's the inconsiderate people who are making the noise and then spilling out into the streets after making the noise. It's not the location of the Town Council Member's primary residence, it's the location of the Town Council Member's loyalties.

I believe in doing one's civic duty, but surely you can see that there is a serious lack of motivating factors for young people to give up their relaxation and family time to go to the council meetings. It's not like they have the free time or (sometimes) disposable income of retirees.

Young Person on BI said...

To anonymous above I agree I am also a young person that is disgusted with part of our local government. I disagree with you on MJ picking on the Finance Director. If it was the old Finance Director she could never answer a question. The current interim Finance Director is doing a great job. MJ is asking for information and inconsistencies from before the Interim Finance Director was in charge. Bringing out all sorts of hushed up funny business. What is so wrong with a Town Councilor asking for information? It is all public information, that even you anonymous can ask for.

Anonymous said...

many of these 'youngsters' work for the Town... hope they speak up soon... don't think their contract has been settled yet and we're going on three years?? What give? Isn't the budget due soon?

CATT? said...

I was just reading the comments from "one tiny little salmon", and it amazes me how little people know about what goes on at council meetings. If you are so disgusted with local government, attend and participate in coincil meetings. Changes can't and won't be made unless you, the public speaks out. I don't mean in the coffee shops, restaurants,lunch counters, in bars, on the streets and in private homes. Your views have to be expressed at public meetings.

You ask, why waste your evening at a council meeting to hear MJ pick on the finance director? I think you are missing the point. The questions were about items on the balance sheet and had nothing to do with picking on anyone.Everyone especially MJ knows the finance director is doing a good job especially when you consider what she walked in to.
An INTEREST FREE LOAN was given to an employee and from what I gather, the council was not consulted. This was not done by the finance director, but by her boss. The other item was about funds owed to the library, and the town manager did not give an answer. These items were on the balance sheet with no explanation and the only way to find out about them was to ask. That was just finding out how your how your TAX DOLLARS were being used. As a taxpayer I find it refreshing to know that we have someone who knows what questions to ask and is not afraid to speak up.
It also bothers me that our town manager has spent well over $160,000.00 on a computer cunsulting firm. (I don't think there were any bids requested.) This is just for the labor, not for equipment. Two of the members of that consulting firm get $125.00 an hour. That in itself doesn't seem bad until you consider most of the bills were for data entry. I am sure our town employees could have done the job for a lot less.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and as a taxpayer it should make you mad. The public needs to know what's going on and you should ask questions. If the public doesn't ask, then the council should.