What is Haff time? Select Board Chair Patty McGrath explained it well when she says the main difference between us is that I focus on the nuts and bolts of running a municipality while she looks at the bigger picture, which she defines as the economy. She is quoted in the Rutland Herald as saying “I think any municipality that is not paying attention to its economy — no matter how well you run your municipality — is not going to do well.”
The position I’m running for is select person to oversee our municipality. It seems to me Mrs. McGrath should be running for some state tourism or economic development position, not for select person. When she mentions that I look after the nuts and bolts of running the municipality she’s correct. I’ve been there all the time about the finances about our municipality such as concerns of our golf course debt, our capital plans, which include swimming pool and recreation center, irrigation, town roads and highways, which I’ve always referred to as the core of our town hall. Mrs. McGrath would rather forgo these nuts and bolts and influence how other businesses do in our economy. I don’t believe we (the select board and the taxpayers) should be involved in deciding which businesses survive or not. That’s why they’re in business. They control their destiny and the town controls the core services that a town should provide, which also provides the basis for business, might I add.
The specific nuts and bolts that I am most concerned about include:
Reconcile FEMA debt and proper financial accounting for all accounts.
Making sure all capital plans are fully funded each year so we can repair and replace items to keep our existing infrastructure up and running, not just wait until they fail and then bond. Which include: Swimming pool, fire department/police, golf course, town roads, library, schools.
This current board has shown since day one that it is handcuffed and has no vision to move this town forward. Their plan underfunds capital reserves, cuts from our core priorities and instead allocates monies to new pet projects.
I hope this vote is not just “Jim vs. Patty.” Rather I hope this vote is about the future of our town and making the necessary changes to get things done rather than kick the can down the road.
I have a plan that will properly address our existing infrastructure and obligations while planning for a future that will benefit us all not just a select few and move us forward toward smart development. I plan to outline this plan next week. Stay tuned.
Jim Haff, Killington