Wednesday, October 16, 2013

OSCF: Extra credit questions

So far, response levels to our candidate questions have been entirely in keeping with Cape Brunswick norms.  Except that we’ve actually received and published answers from incumbent town councilor Benet Pols, with a promise that more would be coming. We’ve also heard from incumbent/school board candidate Rich Ellis that he intends to submit answers.


Jane Millett

Which leads to the obvious question: Where’s Jane?  Oh where, oh where can she be?  Especially now, ‘when it really counts!’

Could it be that she isn’t really taking this campaign fling seriously?  You might suggest it’s just another way to increase her market exposure, but we would never say such a thing.  We’re better than that.

Moving on, our insatiable thirst for knowledge of candidate/incumbent thinking has led us to come up with more questions, which the interested candidate/incumbent can consider answering for extra credit.  Here they are:

For Town Council Candidates/Incumbents:

1)  The town council is required to approve or reject the School Department Budget for purposes of setting the overall tax rate, and submitting the budget to the public for approval in a vote.  While the council cannot deal in specific school funding line items, do you think the council should exercise some form of real control over total school department spending?  For example, should they set a ‘not to exceed’ (NTE) limit before the school budget is submitted to the council?  If not, why not?  Isn’t the council the final authority for total town expenditures?

2)  Do you think the town council should set a budget NTE figure for municipal staff before budget preparation begins?

3)  Would you support requiring town staff to annually prepare and submit a five year budgetary plan that projects revenues, operational and capital expenditures, and property tax rates?  If not, why not?

4)  Would you support requiring that annual property tax statements include a five year history of tax rates and total taxes due for the subject property?

For School Board Candidates/Incumbents:

1)  Do you think the school board should set a budget NTE figure for school department staff before budget preparation begins?  If not, why not?

2)  Would you support requiring school department staff to annually prepare and submit a five year budgetary plan that projects revenues and operational and capital expenditures, and consequent property tax demand?  If not, why not?

3)  Would you support requiring cognizant school department staff to annually prepare and submit a five year building maintenance and repair plan, complete with estimated costs?  If not, why not?

So there you have the latest.  We submit them fully recognizing how much extra work it means for us when the answers come flooding in, and how many extra column inches we’ll have to bear the costs of publishing.

For folks like Jane, who aren’t engaging in the forum, they can continue to not engage for no extra credit.

Credit where credit is due, right?  Just think how much more informed your vote will be, and your understanding of those whose seats are not up for election.

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