By S.D. Plissken | December 12, 2019
I am given to understand that representatives of the Milton Taxpayers’ Association (MTA) will be out collecting signatures in the next month so that a Tax Cap warrant article may appear on the March ballot.
You may share their concern that in recent years that Town officials seem to be either unable or unwilling to restrain themselves in creating Town budgets. They thereby create tax burdens that increase at rates much greater than inflation. This could be your opportunity to “assist” the Town in finding some upper limits.
Last year the Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted unanimously to use your fund balance – the money they took “in error” due to their preposterous 2016 valuation – to cover their rather incontinent budget. Their budget was rejected by the voters, but many of its features were funded anyway by an excessive “fudge factor” included in their process.
This year the BOS voted unanimously to “guide” their Town department heads in drafting budgets that included 2% raises and 1.7% COLA increases. Selectman Rawson said immediately, i.e., without any apparent consideration at all, that he was “just fine” with that; the other selectmen all agreed with him.
In a public BOS meeting this past year Town Planning Board member Laurence D. “Larry” Brown spoke rather unguardedly about his “vision” for Milton’s future. (He had requested a secret meeting, but went ahead anyway in a public session). You might find that you are not present in the future he plans.
Mr. Brown expressed publicly his utter contempt for manufactured homes. They do not serve as “attractions.” (Quote: “No one travels to see the double-wides of New Jersey”). Yes, that old saw again, as if creating “attractions” was ever a legitimate concern of government. He said forthrightly that there are “far too many” manufactured homes in town (13% of Milton’s households). That is to say, for those of you that live in them, there are far too many of you in town.
Mr. Brown expressed his glowing approval for “gentrification” – a process by which wealthier incomers displace those with less wherewithal. Can’t keep up with our increasing government and the increasing taxes needed to pay for it? You can be replaced by better, wealthier taxpayers.
Mr. Brown congratulated himself on having personally prevented the establishment of many businesses over the years, both as an officeholder and an individual. As if that were an accomplishment. (He bragged that he had even spent his own money on lawsuits to do so).
These are the people that are Planning our future, creating and approving the Town budgets, and setting the tax rates. One might almost embrace a slogan from the national scene, and claim that these persons are “Not My Planning Board” and “Not My Board of Selectmen.”
There might be some few among you who think that these trends and these people have not been a burden and a problem for Milton. You should sign the Tax Cap petition anyway, if only to support the principles of democracy. You would be ensuring that there are more ballot options from which voters might choose, rather than fewer options. And there would be no danger that a fully satisfied electorate would pass such a measure, right?
If an MTA volunteer finds their way to your house, you should smile upon their efforts. If you do not encounter one, you may find an MTA volunteer seated in the Dunkin’ Donuts, for the next few Saturday mornings, between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM.