To The Daily Sun,
Citizens of Bristol:
Budget season is upon us once again; the Selectboard is proposing a record $6 million budget. The Budget Committee will rubber stamp this amount, as it has done for the past 15 years.
There are eight communities in the State of New Hampshire of comparable size, 3,000 population, (plus or minus 10 percent). Bristol spends twice as much as any of them, a dubious distinction. We have two departments that spend over $1 million each. Their budgets slipped right through the budget process with barely a question, except when one or two members of the committee dared to question the unquestionable budgets.
Most communities of comparable size have a police department of six or seven officers; we have 10 paid positions plus a prosecutor. Most comparable fire departments have one or two paid positions; Bristol has seven full-time paid positions.
How did Bristol get into this unaffordable situation? The Selectboard and the Budget Committee, over the past 15 years, have failed to manage the affairs of the town. They delegated this responsibility to the department heads, who did what all department heads would do if not managed, they spend our tax money.
It is imperative that, if you pay taxes in Bristol, you please attend the March town meeting. If you rent in Bristol and think this will not affect you, ask yourself, "Is my landlord so generous that he will absorb the tax increase out of his pocket?"