Notes from the Old Noank Jail
This morning, Groton RTM member John ("Jack") Sebastian from District 8 stopped by the Noank Jail to drop off copies of some material that he had presented to the Groton Town Council last Tuesday night. It contained a short presentation and some factual material that I have touched on in previous articles carried by our local media.
1) Mr. Sebastian calls for the Council to include an item in the November Election period. He suggests that the Groton Taxpayers vote on whether they should be allowed to actually be allowed to vote on the Town Budget in the future. In my own opinion, I think this is an excellent idea as, if approved, it would eliminate the need to create any petitions from the citizens and could directly modify the Town Charter with an inclusion of this change.
2) Mr. Sebastian included figures from a Groton Grand Levy History which he had previously received and reviewed with Mr. Sal Pandolfo, Finance Manager for the Town. These figures have been reviewed and adjusted periodically in October 2009, March 2011 and January 2012. They clearly show that, since 2000, the Town has collected more than $80 Million above the inflation level. Some of us have publicly complained about this problem in the past, including Mr. Sebastian and myself.
Perhaps there are many "contracts" to honor, with financial escalation clauses. Perhaps there are other service cost increases. Perhaps new equipment is needed. Perhaps fuel costs are going up.
But on the other side of the coin, Pfizer and EB seem to be gradually leaving town. Perhaps, as a result, there might be more Council and RTM representatives who are now more willing to represent the taxpayers (who voted for them) rather than Town Employee$....perhaps....but can we count on this now?
There is only one way to cut costs in any meaningful capacity. Thus far, it doesn't appear that all the Council and RTM want to proceed with it. For this reason, the final say needs to rest with the Citizens of Groton. Both Stonington and North Stonington citizens are able to do this. It is time we do it in Groton.
And let's not make the mistake of assuming that rushing into a consolidation of all existing services will be the answer to all our problems....because it won't. What will really do it is for citizens to vote "NO" until everyone gets the point.
Comments on this article may be directed to: EdwardR.Johnson@gmail.com