On February 15, 2024
Letters

Wasteful SB spending proves a need for a change

Dear Editor,

Last week I introduced myself as a candidate for Select Board and outlined some of the ways in which the current board is not serving the community as well as it deserves to be served. The treatment of former search and rescue volunteers and their current blacklist from the department, which I detailed last week, is a good example, but there are more.

Another issue is the increase in town spending. Lack of experience and the mistakes made by this current board have caused this town lots of money and is a waste of our tax dollars. Below are a couple examples of wasteful spending:

New fire house

Why did we break ground for the new fire house in October as winter was coming? By breaking ground in October, we (the taxpayers) had to pay more money (more than $60K) on heating the slab because concrete takes almost 30 days to cure. The wasteful expense came from covering the foundation and heating the foundation so that the concrete would cure properly. When I heard about this, I started to pay attention to how this town was being run, and by who. This waste happened on the current Select Board’s watch. If I win, I will make sure things like that won’t happen again.

CV Oil

This is an issue that has been really bothering me and many of the locals are talking about it.

The town of Killington, without warning or conversation, decided to switch oil companies from CV Oil to Irving. Charlie and Steve from CV service many of our businesses and local residents.

They have donated their time and money to helping our community in some of our local fundraisers, and have always been there for us when we needed them.

When the concrete was poured for the new firehouse, Charlie carried diesel almost three times per day rain or shine to assure that the heaters were working properly to keep the slab heated. He took pride in helping our town and not once did the Select Board ever thank him for his hard work and dedication. Then, without warning, the Select Board decided to switch from CV to Irving. At what cost? Yes, there are some savings per gallon, but what’s the initial cost to bury their tanks (truck in sand and top soil, equipment use, man hours)? And all that for 15-20 cents savings? I was told by a town employee it took them almost three weeks to do that. Per my calculations we wasted over $30K in switching companies for worse service and screwed the local company that has been helping Killington for a long time.

Per another town employee when the town garage boiler went down, instead of Irving coming to fix it, the town had to call an independent plumbing company which cost the town additional money. CV used to service their equipment all the time and follow through. To me that dedication is worth something. The way I look at things is that our local businesses are part of this greater community. CV has always donated to Killington’s charities, including 150 gallons of heating oil a year for decades to the firemen’s 4th of July raffle and two full tanks for the barbecue grills. To me, I value that partnership. The town has put short term savings over the trusted local service. I think what we did to CV Oil is wrong. How can we as a town treat Steve and Charlie with such disrespect. In the end the switch didn’t save any taxpayers dollars, but did quite the opposite.

Solar panels at the library and town offices

This is another example of wasteful spending. We’ve spent over $200K on solar charging stations at the town offices and library, something that is covered in snow six months out of the year and is not convenient for local people in town to charge their cars. This seems like a complete waste to me. How much energy are those panels actually producing? How many people are actually charging at those locations? Who approved this expense? Why wasn’t it brought forward to the people of Killington to decide on? What happens when the town offices move to Route 4? Will those panels be taken down and brought over there?

All of these questions are clear indications of the lack of transparency on this board.

The entire point of this letter is to show that the current Select Board has some hidden agenda.

Instead we need more transparency, stronger leadership and less self interest.

I’ll be out in the community introducing myself to those who might not know me. I am willing to answer any questions and I want to hear from you. I look forward to the conversations and I am humbly asking for your vote so we can get this town back on track.

Andrew Gieda,
Killington

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