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East Haddam Finance Board Member says budget lacks strategic vision

April 26, 2012 Local News, Opinion 1 Comment

"At a time when East Haddam faces both challenges and opportunities, the proposed budget reflects no strategic plan to address those challenges and opportunities. The proposed budget merely endorses the status quo in the hope that we can somehow simply muddle along." - East Haddam Finance Board member Harvey Thomas

To the Editor,

As a member of the East Haddam Board of Finance, I did not vote for the proposed fiscal year 2012-2013 town budget.  As an elected official, I owe it to the taxpayers to explain my reasons.

A budget spells out the financial implications of a plan. At a time when East Haddam faces both challenges and opportunities, the proposed budget reflects no strategic plan to address those challenges and opportunities. The proposed budget merely endorses the status quo in the hope that we can somehow simply muddle along.

For example:

  • There is no plan for or resources allocated to any disposition of the old middle school. No resources for converting it into new Town Offices, no resources for converting only part of it into Town Offices, no resources for any other possible use and not even any resources for demolishing it. This budget simply calls for letting the old middle school continue to deteriorate, fall in upon itself and disappear from the radar without ever giving the taxpayers the opportunity to decide for themselves what to do with this multimillion dollar asset.
  • Despite much rhetoric about the revitalization of East Haddam Village, this budget reflects no significant financial commitment to that goal. Relocation of the Town Offices is key to any opportunity to revitalize East Haddam village. Not only does this budget not allocate any resources to a convert the old middle school into Town Offices, it includes no resources to aggressively pursuing any plan to turn one of the last prime river front properties into an economic asset for the town.
  • Moodus Center is the logical commercial hub of our community.  This budget makes no provision for town support to expand, revitalize, reinvigorate or make more attractive the town’s commercial center.

In short, the proposed budget spells out no strategic vision for our town.

– Harvey Thomas

Posted April 26 2012

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Steve Baklik says:

    I’ve just recently moved to Moodus, but was involved with the skatepark committee years ago and am now closely (eagerly!) watching the process and naturally became interested in what’s happening with the old middle school. I’m not going to pretend I know a lick of what’s going on with it or the town’s finances, but I do know that it holds great potential. I am willing to do whatever needs to be done to help utilize that building for town use. I think town offices is a great idea as well as a community center, seeing as there is the skatepark, tennis courts, fields, garden, gymnasium, etc. Just wanted to put that out there.

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