On February 26, 2015

Q&A with Jim Haff

1) Why are you running?

I’m concerned about the numbers and presentation contained in our annual reports that do not reflect accurate information. I believe it’s painting a rosier picture than actually is. I’ve always been about providing accurate information for the voters in the town of Killington to make an educated vote.

2) In your opinion, what is the most important thing town government can do? What do you see as the primary roll of local government?

I believe the most important role is to provide the voters with information to make an educated vote. To provide core functions of our town, highways, police, fire, schools, library.

3) Making progress on initiatives and/or effecting change requires building consensus among voters as well as fellow board members that any proposed path is indeed the best one for the future of the town and its residents. How do you plan to do this?

All I can do is provide accurate information for the voter to make an educated vote. Knowing that the voters have accurate information, whichever way they vote, then elected officials should follow through with the voters choices.

4) How do you think town government should drive and/or support economic growth?

I believe town government’s position should be in infrastructure such as core town functions, which once again, are highways, police, fire, schools, library, sewer, water. To me a town providing these core functions will allow for economic growth in our business community.

5) The budget always fosters healthy debate, how do you propose to manage spending and what specific things would you propose cutting from the current budget?

We need the correct numbers in front of us first before we can even decide on what needs to be cut or what needs to be added. But if the numbers in front of us were correct, I believe the resort’s proposal of removing the sales portion of the option tax from our town receipts while keeping the rooms, meals and alcohol for our core functions of the town would be a great start.

The proposal from the KPAA, which includes the community businesses and the resort, speaks of removing $250,000 for marketing and expenses, while loosing $450,000 revenue to the town. I believe there’s $500,000 that could be removed from this budget by getting back to our core functions. By doing this, the KPAA and the local business community will finally be investing wisely in themselves to increase their businesses without taxing the entire local community.

6) What upcoming choices does the town face that you think voters should know about prior to voting on Town Meeting Day.

Once again, the choices that the town voters should know about prior to voting would be having the correct information in front of them to make an informed vote. I would like to note last year at the town information meeting Charlie Demerest made a presentation about how the town was using the next year’s revenues to pay last year’s bills. I would like to say, Charlie is 100 percent correct in his statement and sorry that our current administration had deaf ears.

7) In your opinion, what is our local government doing right? What are some of the top things that you think need to be changed?

I break our local government into two different groups. Group one is our management and administration, which is the Select Board. Group two, is the workers that are doing the core functions of our town. I’ve always thought and still think that our core group of workers have always done a great job and I respect the hard work and hours they put in. On the other hand our management and administration, I feel, don’t have a handle on the financial side of our town government. And that concerns me and it put us at a disadvantage for making improvements down the road.

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