Letter: Approve Article 6 at Town Meeting next Tuesday

Posted 4/25/23

The Westport Finance Committee has released its analysis of the FY2024 budget to be presented at Town Meeting on May 2. The facts are not pretty.

After more than a decade of making do and …

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Letter: Approve Article 6 at Town Meeting next Tuesday

Posted

The Westport Finance Committee has released its analysis of the FY2024 budget to be presented at Town Meeting on May 2. The facts are not pretty.

After more than a decade of making do and underfunding critical services at both the town and the schools, the structural deficit The Town of Westport goes into Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 2 without enough money to fund its basic services. The report says, “Westport has been operating with a Chronic Structural Deficit for years. Expenses outpacing revenues is a structural deficit, and Westport has been in this chronic situation for many years. To balance the budget, the Town has adopted short-term solutions which simply ‘kick the can down the road.’ The Town has cut personnel and increased responsibilities, postponed maintenance, cut back on services, postponed adopting necessary technology upgrades, and not maintained stabilization funding. The Town has not addressed many of its long-term capital needs: including Town properties and building maintenance and replacing worn-out equipment.”

For these reasons and others detailed in the report, the Finance Committee recommends approval of Article 6 on the Town Meeting Warrant, to pass a Supplemental Budget at Town Meeting to try and turn the tide.

The Finance Committee encourages residents to read the report and to come to Town Meeting informed about the issues ahead for the town and why it is critical to reverse the trend of shrinking revenues due to one of the lowest property tax rates in the state, as well as the affect of inflation and the pandemic.

You can find the report here.

Sally Cameron

Westport

 

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