Accuracy and truth matter.
I read with a certain amount of both disdain and amusement Mr. Haff’s letter, who is running for Killington selectman. First he insinuates that I do not pay attention to the nuts and bolts because I am more interested in economic development. Nothing is further from the truth. Both are important, and each supports the other. Good infrastructure helps the economy, a good economy supports paying for the infrastructure. That is just common sense. Second, he claims we (the Selectboard) are kicking the can down the road. Again patently false.
Let’s look at facts:
Look at the total capital contributions (what we budget and invest annually towards our infrastructure) from Mr. Haff’s tenure on the board and the years prior:
2008 – 2010 yearly average $406k ($342k roads, paving, etc.)
2011 – 2013 yearly average $300k ($260k roads, paving, etc.)
To be fair, Mr. Haff only dealt with the budgets of 2011-2013, but during that time capital contributions dropped to a record low, far lower than 1994. Also, remember, that Mr. Haff encouraged the first budget in 2011 to be voted down, then worked to pass a budget that was almost $60k lower in capital contributions, over half of which was taken from paving.
Now compare capital contributions to the budget of the next three years:
2014 – 2016/17 yearly average $544k ($460 roads, paving etc.)
After Mr. Haff left, the current board increased capital contributions by over 80 percent. For roads it increased over 75 percent. Mr Haff was the one who kicked the can down the road, not the current board. It is an insult to every taxpayer in this town to pretend otherwise. The facts simply do not support that claim.
For the past three years the current board has been working with our town employees and volunteers towards a sustainable and affordable capital plan, a replacement plan for our failing fire station, and appropriate police coverage among other things. Recently we have looked at options for funding the future pool replacement. Mr. Haff has not “always been there” and he certainly has not been paying attention. He chooses instead to spread lies and misinformation, thus, creating a toxic atmosphere and distrust for those who work for the town.
Mr. Haff has also claims that the town currently is “involved in deciding which business currently survive or not” which is utterly preposterous, and he knows it. Sponsoring and developing events, creating partnerships and coalitions for any and all businesses to join, beautifying our gateway and signage in no way decides “who survives.” On the contrary it provides the fertile ground for any business willing to put in the effort to succeed. And it makes us attractive to new businesses.
Mr. Haff claims we have no vision, yet he sat there at the same meeting as at least 70 other towns people revisited the successes we have attained since the first VCRD meeting, and where we would like to continue. He signed the original Strategic Plan in 2012, which stated our vision to be a four-season premier resort town. Our town has made great progress in the last few years, we have been consistent and deliberate in planning for the future, control of spending and providing needed services, all in a calm, positive and inclusive manner. Accuracy and truth matter.
Patty McGrath, Chair of the Killington Selectboard