Bedford Taxpayers Association has recommendations

To the Editor:

Bedford Taxpayers Association has come out with voting recommendations for the March 10 local election. BTA will be sending out a newsletter to Bedford residents endorsing candidates who have shown or have committed to fiscal restraint and responsibility.

Taxpayers have seen significant increases in their property taxes over the last few years. This has caused problems for elderly residents and homeowners trying to sell their homes.

Residents were told the school budget would rise immediately after the high school was built, but were promised it would then taper off to little or no increases. Not only were those empty promises, we’ve seen significant increases each year in the school budget.

This year BTA is recommending taxpayers support the default budget which is roughly $600k less than the proposed budget. The default budget still increases spending, but not at the rate of the district’s proposed budget. Unfortunately the School Board has not obeyed State Law which would reduce the default budget even more.

BTA is also recommending that taxpayers not support salary increases on the ballot. The district should offer budget cuts to offset any salary increases they recommend.

Recently at a public meeting, Terry Wolf, Chair of the Bedford School Board acknowledged that the district could go in and eliminate $200k in expenditures. Voters need to ask the School Board why that was not done.

After-school-clubs cost taxpayers about $200K per year, but these clubs can continue with volunteers running them and fundraisers to support additional expenses. Is it fair to residents on a fixed income to shoulder this burden when there are creative and cost effective ways to maintain programs? This is how the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been run successfully for decades.

BTA also recommends the following candidates for office: SCHOOL BOARD: Lawrence Cheetham and Audra Schwoerer TOWN COUNCIL: John Schneller, Melissa Stevens and Bill Duschatko

BTA continues to encourage candidates for office to reach out to the BTA if they share our mission of low taxes and spending and please don’t forget to vote on March 10th.

Roy H. Stewart

President

Bedford Taxpayers Association