Guest Post: Mary Fleischli of West Hartford FIRST
Posted by whforums on September 25, 2008
Nine days ago, I invited both the WHTA and West Hartford FIRST to compose a guest post for this blog that would answer the following question: Why should we vote Yes/No on October 7th? My hope was to hold the two arguments against one another so we could have a reasonable discussion about the merits of both. The post from the folks at the WHTA can be found here. What follows is the response from West Hartford FIRST. Please note that, despite the “Paid for” tagline, I accepted no money to publish this post.
Why should I vote YES on October 7th? Top 10 reasons:
1. While the current economy may be causing us to reexamine our budgets, the Town Budget has already been cut once back in June. While I expect my elected officials to be fiscally responsible, I don’t expect them to cut a second time at the expense of my home value and my quality of life.
2. While I don’t like paying more in taxes, I don’t mind paying my local taxes the way I do my federal and state taxes. I see the benefits I receive from my local taxes – in the schools, in the town services, and in the safety of my neighborhood.
3. I don’t believe the unsubstantiated allegations that there is “fat” in the budget. If there were, why didn’t any of the Town Council members who voted against the budget suggest something specific to cut? The answer is there was nothing to cut that wasn’t a valuable town service.
4. I care about fire safety. The Town Council has proposed closing the fire station on Prospect Avenue. This could affect response times for fires and car accidents. I think keeping a fire station open is worth the $1 per household per year that we save in taxes by closing it.
5. I want a strong police force – I don’t want the crime rate to increase. I keep reading about burglaries in West Hartford and fear with the economy there will be more. The police department’s training budget and overtime for traffic calming were cut in the last round. I don’t want them to cut police positions next time around.
6. I care about education – I am upset that due to budget cuts, there are 28 kids in the 4th grade classes at Duffy and the 5th grade classes at Braeburn. If your school hasn’t been affected yet, you are lucky – for now.
7. In these uncertain times for real estate, a strong school system is the best protection I have against falling home prices. My home is my biggest investment and I want to protect it.
8. I value the library and other town services and don’t like that their hours have already been cut. First they cut library hours – the next cut could mean closing a library branch.
9. I am proud to live in West Hartford, rated one of the top 100 towns in Money Magazine. How long will our town continue to be nationally recognized if we continue to cut away at services?
10. A $1 million cut in the budget would translate into just $3.38 in monthly tax savings on a median value home. Making cuts large enough to have a meaningful impact on taxes are severely affecting all aspects of our quality of life in West Hartford – police, fire, schools & services…
Compiled by Mary Fleischli, president of West Hartford FIRST
Paid for by West Hartford FIRST, Chris Mozonski, treasurer
For more information, go to www.whfirst.org