Chariho School Parents’ Forum

February 26, 2009

HTC budget meetings

Filed under: Hopkinton Town Council — Editor @ 12:42 am

I have found the HopkintonTownCouncil, and its workings, to be very transparent. They post videos of the meetings, and more impressive was when I asked if we could discuss holding contract negotiations in open meetings, I was told that we would need to hold that discussion in a public meeting (I brought it up during an executive session).  This is amazing, especially when you consider the fact that Chariho made that decision behind closed doors and we don’t even know if it was voted on or not. Has anyone seen minutes showing when it was decided?

There has been one practice held at the HTC that I dislike and that is to seal executive session minutes.  It hasn’t covered an issue I’m overly concerned about yet but I will continue to discuss it and see what can be done.

But we are now in budget hearings and while they are public, they are not taped. So I thought I would post some notes, especially since there is some important information you should know.

First of all, the overall theme is that revenues are down locally and we can expect up to a 6% reduction from the state (unless Obama sends the 91 million dollar check quickly, which they probably will, and RIwill postpone fixing things until the country is in a real mess and half way to a socialist European model,,,,,, but I digress).

The only things going up are health care costs and Property Tax Delinquent Interest and Penalties (isnt that sad).

There have been two days of meetings where each department discussed its respective budget.  I will address my notes and thoughts going through the budget from front to back, not by the order listed on the agenda.  You can follow along with the budget draft conveniently located on the front page of the Hopkinton site or directly HERE in pdf.

Page 1, 2, 3 & 4 are totals and I’ll cover them in each section.

Pg 5, Town Clerk
The Town Clerk offered, unsolicited, to receive NO raise this year. (are you listening Chariho?  Will Chariho give 10% raises to the teachers on steps again while the rest of the world gets 0%?) Thank you Town Clerk!

The co-pays are set by contract right now. I think they are all graduated up each year between 11-13 percent but I’ll post more on that when the new contracts comes due.

Advertising revenues (item 5020) show an interesting trend.  Note how revenues fall from 06/07 to 07/08 and the 08/09 budget amount is $11,500 but Year to Date is only 1,400 (we are about 7 months through the budget year).  this particular item has a large increase at the end but this is a trend you will find repeated in the budget.  We adjusted the 09/10 revenue estimate down.

Also note item 3406 (other town clerk revenues).  The 08/09 budget amount is $225,000 but YTD is only $75.   However, and this is unique to this line, the 07/08 actuals were still high.  So we adjusted down the 09/10 estimate but only to 190k.

page 6, Probate Court – the clerk stipend position is set by regulation that it has to be the town clerk.  So this led to some humorous times when Tom Buck brought it up because we didn’t know it was Lisa. We started asking question and she said, “that’s me”

Bottom line (and I do agree with Tom but its a statute issue and probably by contract too), is that if she is at work already and doesn’t increase her work day, then why are we paying extra stipend money for it.  It may involve additional hours or responsibilities, I don’t know, it will probably come up again.

Probate revenues are relatively steady – unfortunately because that probably means people are dying.

Election costs are down mostly because its an off-election year.  We still have the budget referendum but its lighter.

Pg 7, 8, 9 & 10, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector,Finance Director & GIS  –  I think this is covered in a later meeting so I will pass on it for now. 

Pg 10, Building and Zoning
I walked in late to this meeting and came in during a discussion on electrical and plumbing inspector fees.  This cost is a stipend.  We noted that the revenues have dropped significantly ($140,000 in 06/07 to $76k in 07/08) so we assume the need for inspections has also dropped by about half.  We wanted numbers on how many inspections are done and we may pay on a piece meal basis. But to pay the same stipend for half the work doesn’t make sense.

Health insurance here has grown quite a bit also. 

We shifted around some mileage which was underestimated and reduced supplies. Most importantly was the adjustment already made to revenues.  It was estimated at $50k, down again from last years $76 and substantially from 06/07’s $140k.

Pg. 11, Town Planner – I questions the ended use of interns and it turns out URI has ended its town planner program.  Bummer

Same as above- revenues are down and have been estimated to reflect the low numbers seen last year.

Pg 12, Police. 
A couple of Sunday’s ago during the Lively Experiment TV Show, I heard Arlene Violet say there was a rule of thumb having 1 police officer for every 1000 residents.  I brought this up and was told it is not true. Chief Scunzio said he would get me the data and will post when sent. I did contact Arlene and she said the comment came from Mayor Polisina in Johnston when he said it at the Mayors’ conference.  I’ve looked around and found that numbers range from 3/4 per 1000 to 6 per 1000 (Washington DC, of course).

I also had 2 residents call me and say (paraphrasing together) “20 years ago we only had 1 full time and 2 part time – why do we now have 16?

Whether its “average” or not, I still think 16 officers is too much. But its a contract issue (what isn’t?) – one good note is that the HTC did send a referendum supporting most of the governor’s budget articles and that included the elimination of minimum manning in contracts, so we are on record saying we want the freedom to change it.

Many other costs are also bound by contract, such as uniform cleaning, co-pays, pension, etc…, so not available to change during these meetings (which certainly limits the items we can adjust).

One item that is not on contract but is mandated by the state is the practice that we pay for education tuition for police officers.  And there is no requirement they the town benefits from that education (in other words, we could pay for someones education and they leave to use the new degree elsewhere). So I have requested that we write Senator Maher and Rep Kennedy asking for a waiver to this unfunded mandate.

I did find out that only the chief and detective take vehicles home as they are on call 24 hrs day. The rest do not.

As for the vehicles, we have 3 in good condition, 2 past the 100k mile line and some seizure vehicles (forgot how many, someone please fill me in).  There is a rule that if we sell seizure cars we have to give a certain percentage to the state (or feds?) but if we trade them in we keep 100%.  So they are trying to package old cars and seizures together to get new cars in base form then install the equipment from the older cars.  I’ll admit I’m still getting my feet under me and don’t understand it all yet, but this seems like a good plan.

One thing I also did not catch on to was the police revenues.  (page 13)  there are new items listed on lines 3401 and 3430 but I have scratched out the 09/10 years and 1 and 0 in the respective lines.  Perhaps its a pass through.  Sorry – like I said, still getting my feet under me and I just don’t remember what that was about.  I do see they adjusted the 09/10 General Revenues down to the realized 07/08 amounts.  But again, not sure what the Enforcement Reimbursements are and why we estimated $36k but have only collected $591 so far.

Pg 14, Dispatchers.  While I’m not a fan of regionlized governments (ie. Chariho School Committee), it may be reasonable to consolidate services such as Dispatchers because you need to have someone, but they might not be very busy during the night shift.  Its basically 3 shifts at 7 days a week – equals 4 people. Maybe we could share this expense with Richmond or someone.

Pg 15, Animal Contr0l – not much to report here. We have contributed for the last two years towards a fund to get a new truck.  The current one is a 1998 but with only 85k miles.  A great deal if someone wants to give us an offer!  But seriously, if the budget goes south, we might need to put off that purchase.

Pg 16, Hopkinton Emergency – the costs are low here, but I still think the whole One Call system is spending money for no reason.  The argument is that if Bradford Dye goes up in smoke again we won’t have to send police door to door and can just call.  But the first person who doesn’t get the call because they arent on the list or they only use cell phones, the town will get sued and we will be back to using police.  But I only have so many windmills I can tilt at – someone else take this boondogle.

Lower on pg 16 is Meal Site – this one created the most tension.  Basically, this is for a person to be at Crandal House and cook and serve the lunch for about 8 seniors.  We have tried several things to get a Senior Center going but they haven’t been getting any involvement.  Basically we get 8ish people coming for lunch and we spend $45k per year to do it (salary, benefits, etc…).  Barbara  Capalbo brought it up, and to be honest she showed great courage to bring up anything that involves eliminating something for seniors.  

Basically, we asked the man what he did and by his own admission, he can’t get seniors involved and so he spend most of his day just helping the people at the rec center.  He does arrange some speakers about once a month, but the meat of his job (pun intended) is to make and serve the meal which takes from about 10 to noon.

Barbara proposed several options – change the position into a Senior Advocate type – eliminate the position entirely -or  merge his dutes with another department to make it worth the cost.  She made the motion to eliminate it entirely (allowing us to reallocate elsewhere) and I agree with her. Sylvia and Bev voted no.  Tom said he was going to vote with Barbara and I but offered to let it be discussed at another meeting when people can come in and give us their thoughts.  I asked if the libraries and Chariho CTC could propose how they could fill some gaps.

The following idea is a culmination of several people’s thoughts and what I will be supporting – we should continue the lunch program for the seniors by bringing in a CTC student or paying for a part time position just for those 2-3 hours per day.  Then take a portion of the money saved and give it to the libraries and churches to promote senior services (after all, they already have the staff and infrastructure).  If we could pay $12000 for the part time cook, that saves us $33k.  Spend $3000 to each library ($6k total) and pool $6000 for all the churches to share – and just save the last $21k.

I feel for the man in that position, but the reality is that it should not have been started in the first place.  There just wasn’t a need for it.

Pg 17, Public Works – this was one of the early items we discussed and many items being questioned are contract issues – such as why we pay so much overtime.  Mostly it is when we plow snow – the contract doesn’t allow the flexibility such that we can comp time to avoid the overtime.  Ahh, contracts restricting management again…

Having seen so much of this here and at Chariho I must say that the system more than any individual is most responsible for maintaining the status quo – but I digress, again…

The moral of the Public Works story is that salt has doubled in the last year

Another interesting item to come up was the plan to purchase a new truck.  Putting aside if now is a good time, the reasoning was interesting.  In 2010 there will be a new exhaust regulation that will require trucks to have mufflers that cost $7000 a piece.  Yup, you read that right.  These big mufflers (maybe the current ones) even inject diesel fuel to burn off some of the emissions.  Think about the circular logic of that – burning more fuel to save the environment, which is “destroyed” by burning fossil fuels.  Isn’t life funny!

Skip on to pg 22, Town Manager.  Not a lot to discuss here – I think the raise is 2% and copay is at 11% now scheduled up 1% each year – according to a contract signed last year (I think).

But on the bottom of the page is the Municipal Court.  There was a bit of discussion on this topic as some were confused whether or not its a money maker.  The short answer is no – it isn’t making us money at this time.

On the budget you will see that for the current year we have spend $5115 so far and collected $27,313.  So it looks like we are making money but not really.  You see, if we didn’t have the court the cases would be seen in Providence and the town would still get most of those fees (Bill D thought it could be as much as $26k).  The only difference is when someone goes to court and pleads they have a good record and the ticket is dismissed – then the entire court fee (not ticket fee) goes to the town.  Auxiliary savings are also seen by police not having to spend all day in court in Providence.

But the long and short is that the court is not making money now.  Close enough to give it time to see though.

The rest will be discussed at later meetings.  If you have specific questions, come to the meeting or send in a question.

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25 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the overview Mr. Felkner.

    1 cop per 1000 or 6 cops per 1000, it’s all made up anyway. Kind of like Rhode Island teachers negotiating contracts by playing one contract against another ensuring themselves rapid contract growth.

    Cities may indeed need a high concentration of police, but rural towns like Hopkinton need very little policing. As we know, Exeter does fine paying the state police for minimal coverage. Dozens of rural towns in Connecticut rely only on the services of one state policeman. These towns have low crime rates like Hopkinton, but pay less than $200,000 per year for policing.

    I’m not sure when the Hopkinton Town Council decided we need to live in a police state, but I suspect most of the growth occurred during the Clinton years when grants were being given left and right encouraging municipalities to increase policing. The grants expired, but the positions never went away. Hopkinton could easily shrink the department down to 8 officers.

    I know the Town Manager makes life easier for the Town Council, but like the police issue, Hopkinton has a recent history which demonstrates we don’t need a Town Manager. Each department head seems more than capable of running their departments. I had hoped the Town Manager would get control of the police contracts and spending, but nothing there, so what’s the point? Where has the Town Manager saved us money or provided services we didn’t have before? What value do we receive for the largest town salary?

    I’d rather have employees committed to the town running thing than a Town Manager looking for the next career move. Look at the Town Clerk’s response to the plight of the community (no raise) versus the Town Manager (2% raise).

    Glad to hear Hopkinton is thinking. Other than the police budget and the Town Manager’s position, the town has been pretty thrifty. I wonder if the decision to spend our money repsonsibly is connected to the lack of fear about being transparent. Nothing to hide, so you don’t.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 26, 2009 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  2. I would like to see the cost analysis of the municipal court. We were told this would save money from police officer overtime. Has anyone tracked this to see if this has been true. I am very leary when we allow lawyers to create positions for other lawyers and claim we will save money. If it’s true then no problem, show us the numbers and we will be thankful for the savings.

    Unrelated topic: I posted about an article from Sun on the SC hiring another law firm in the tranparency on the move topic…..don’t know if that is being actively followed.

    Comment by RS — February 26, 2009 @ 11:18 am | Reply

  3. And of course, our dogs and cats (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my dog) are worth more then our seniors, as we want to cut THEM out of the budget! Seems like we have our values skewed. We all need to work on getting more outreach for our seniors, and make the program WORK! Don’t limit it, enlarge it! If this guy is a cook, why isn’t he making rolls and coffe in the morning? Seems like that might get our seniors used to the building, and add some serives! (Flu shots, help with MEDICARE part D, taxes, a small food bank stocked with cereal and canned fruit for days when they need breakfast)

    We need to get more bang for the buck, and develop this into a full fledged center, not strip it down! We have MORE THEN 1,000 seniors in our town, and we now seek to decrease any HOPE of expanded services? These are people who do NOT have children in school, who pay their taxes, and get NOTHING in return. WHAT in God’s name are you thinking? We have a MORAL and FINANCIAL responsibility to care for them at LEAST as well as we care for our animals!

    Lets get a bit inventive…after all, we should be able to dovetail some needed srevice guidance and help to keep all of our citizens healthy and productive.

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  4. UPDATE #3:

    The first few lines should have stated my anger at even the THOUGHT of cutting back on the senior meal site, and my knowlege that we pay more for animal control then for the senior meal site. (We have a wonderful animal control officer, and I would not even THINK of cutting that service)

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  5. I would have liked your statement more if it read, “We have a cost effective animal control department which returns value to the community.”

    Budgeting and spending taxpayers money is a ficuciary responsibility we elected the council members to fulfill and personal feelings and relationships should not be a factor.

    That being said, I have had the pleasure of using the services of Hopkinton Animal Control, and also think the department is a valued asset, now lets justify the cost.

    Comment by RS — February 26, 2009 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  6. I agree! The Animal control Officer does a GREAT job, and I would never even think of cutting that service, or the budget for the senior meal site. I believe that since our elderly population will approach 20% in a very short time, that we should get this meal site going and expand the services for seniors. Certainly, we have a good amount budgeted for the meal site, we need to get “more bang for our buck”!

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  7. Oh YES! Seems like a “Fiduciary responsibility” to spend our tax dollars should also include senior services! They too are taxpayers.. senior housing ALONE was the second largest taxpasyer one year. Add in all of the taxes paid by houmeowners over 65, (I am one of those), and you can see that an expectation of an outlay of less the $50,000 is well spent, but needs to be “buffed up”, so services are expanded.

    Who knows, perhaps I will have to depend on the meal site and (hopefully) my senior center to help me out in the future! OR, are we going to site by and say “Let someone else do it”?

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

  8. We may have 1000 seniors, but if the numbers are correct and only 8 show up for meals, then how can we justify paying for a cook for 8 people? Sure sounds like the Town Council is trying to be creative as they consider a part time cook and moving other services to the already full time staffed libraries.

    Also, is the seniors’ program based on income? There are many seniors struggling to get by, but there are also many senior who made wise decisions in life and don’t need any handouts from the government. Let’s make sure the need is there before spending resources.

    Tell you what, let’s committ to eliminating 2 police officer positions and that should be more than enough to keep the senior program going for the 8 people who take advantage of it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 26, 2009 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  9. I know absolutely nothing about the senior center. In fact I wasn’t aware we hade one in Hopkinton…as I’ve never seen it(or at least not knowingly). I did know of Richmonds when I lived there, but can’t recall how or why I knew of it.

    Comment by RS — February 26, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  10. RE # 8

    Of course, we could have animal control pick up the elderly! Sounds like the old days when the SPCA had to set up an orgaization to protect children, now doesn’t it? We surely need to keep what we have, but demand more performance in outreach, and services. If the cook can’t garner more elderly to come in for meals, he just may lose his job! I think we need to be much more active…why doesn’t anyone KNOW there is a meal service in town?

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

  11. I like the idea of parents protecting children. If children need to be protected from parents, then the parents should be in jail. We don’t need to be helping young people, middle aged people, or old people who are capable of helping themselves. We shouldn’t be encouraging anyone to become dependent on government.

    Government spends other people’s money and should do so respectfully. Whether seniors or students, government shouldn’t be wasting money and when they do need to spend other people’s money, government should be transparent and accountable for every dime they spend.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 26, 2009 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  12. I agree with you regarding not encouraging people to become dependent. BUT for many people who are elderly, they have no choice but to become “dependent” on the kindness of strangers and the support of the taxpayer. Recently a resident (elderly) was admitted to hospital for frostbite, as his dogs were not enough to keep him warm. There are elderly, who through no fault of their own, after years of hard work and savings are unable to make ends meet. Some survive on cereal for two meals a day, some do not survive, and end up costing us much more for nursing home care.

    We currently pay for “rehab” for those who abuse substances, and all those who use and abuse these programs have to do is request “help” in many circumstances. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent for “treatment”, and many of these people return thre, four and five times a year for “rehab” in order to stay our of jail. We pay thousands and thousands to run a school-jail for kids who wish to kill their teachers, poke pens in their eyes, and kick and threaten to kill police officers who come to pick them up. We pay more then $14,000 to educate one child…a mediocre educatiuon at that. Can’t we pay less then $50,000 a year and demand more services for our elderly? If we can intervene and keep ONE elderly resident out of a nursing home, you will save at least $7,000 per week. (And a lot of grief)

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  13. Sorry, the cost for a nursing home is $7,000 per MONTH not per week! Still a great deal of money.

    Comment by Dorothy — February 26, 2009 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  14. Shouldn’t the primary responsibility be on the shoulders of families and private organizations, not the government, to care for those who are less fortunate? If any taxpayer feels that then can afford to donate money to an agency, the should give voluntarily, not forced to do so through taxes.

    Comment by CharihoParent — February 26, 2009 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  15. I assume their must be a federal match for this type of program, do you know of any details on this Dorothy?

    Comment by RS — February 26, 2009 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

  16. Sadly, there are not enough families to care for people. AND there are plenty who have NO family. Seems like I am speaking to deaf ears on this subject. In a perfect world, there would be a safety net for all who are not fortunate. I remember a woman who worked all her life, saved a fortune ($50,000) to allow her to live well when combined with her SS, but sadly, outlived her “fortune”. She had been responsible, saved money from her small salary (less then $15,000/year), but lived too long. Maybe euthanasia is the answer?

    Comment by Dorothy — February 27, 2009 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  17. People need to remember when many of our current seniors grew up … WW2, great depression, big earning years were not big paydays. Comparably, those approaching retirement now had top earning years in the 1980-1990’s, sold houses for huge profits, etc.

    When I think of my 90 yo grandmother, she’s outlived all here siblings, and my GF’s siblings, half her kids, most of her friends … but still going strong, lives in a great very little community in Maine where seniors are a resource, help out in the school, raffle a quilt every year (makes about $10K for scholarships and fire dept).

    These folks paid taxes their whole life, they have earned something from the community, not sure what that is, best way to accomplish, etc.

    The tri-town cmte talked about collaborating with Richmond and Charlestown some how, why should Hope Valley people truck down to Crandel if they could go over to Wyoming?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — February 27, 2009 @ 11:24 am | Reply

  18. I’m all for safety nets, but I am against government rewards. I had a conversation a few years ago with a senior as the new Medicare drug program was being hashed out. The senior has financial resources exceeding anything I have, and probably ever will have, yet they still thought they were entitled to government subsidized drugs. They argued that taking from my struggling family was their right because they worked their whole life.

    This is the attitude I abhor, in anyone of any age. It is fine to tell the story of struggling seniors, but let’s not pretend they are all eating dog food for breakfast. A government senior center for those seniors who are impoverished is great. For those seniors who have been more fortunate or made better life decisions and have the financial means to take care of their own needs, then they should pay to belong to any government run program.

    I don’t want to hear “for the seniors” any more than I want to hear “for the kids”. I’m tired of government deciding winners and losers. Government should provide a minimal safety net, and beyond that we should be taking care of ourselves and our families.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 27, 2009 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  19. Where to start, the “entitlement” programs (social security, etc) were started to keep seniors out of poverty due to their prime wage earning years being in extremely rough times (WWII, depression, etc.). I don’t think it’s unfair for society to provide for what these people did for the country. Now, that does change as the next generations come through, I’m 40-ish and do not have any expectation od SS being their, as it is now, when I retire.

    Means testing the entitlement benefits is nothing new, probably has to happen to make the numbers work in the future.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — February 27, 2009 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  20. Social security was enacted when the life expectancy was 62. Benefits were not available until the age of 65. While I’m no big fan of social security, the original intent was to protect those seniors who outlived their financial resources. This seems reasonable…although I still prefer families being the primary safety net with government stepping in when family is unavailable.

    As life expectancies increased significantly, age of eligibility did not. To add insult to injury, our politicians took to putting social security payments into the general fund and they’ve spent the payroll tax…there is no Al Gore lockbox. It’s one more word game played by the politicians.

    If the government so many adore had acted ethically, social security payments would have truly gone into a lockbox with a concurrent increase in value which would have covered benefits for everyone of this generation and well beyond. Poliiticians, of all political persuasions, screwed us over. What do we do? We ask them to keep doing it by giving them even more power over our lives. Health care reform anyone? We are sheep.

    I will never figure out what happened to the American spirit…how did we get to the point where we want, or trust, the government to take care of us? Aside from a Mr. Felkner-type from time-to-time; who cares about what our decisions today mean for the generations tomorrow? Obama? Bush?

    What a sad, pathetic decline we’ve undergone in this country. While I may not live to see it…the house of cards will come crashing down before too long. For many people, as long as they get theirs, they just don’t care. I sometimes wonder why I care.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 27, 2009 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  21. Yep, and there used to be more workers paying for retirees.

    But their is an element of luck involved, so how do setup a minimum compulsory requirement for “retirement insurance” akin to car insurance?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — February 27, 2009 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  22. Retirement insurance? Now there’s an idea I’ve never heard. Too bad our politicians rigidly adhere to tried and failed policies and programs.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 27, 2009 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  23. Consider for a moment that we accept a libertarian property rights and people need to take care of themselves philosophy; which I like, but … do you run the risk of killing the organism that we call “society” by concentrating wealth through inheritance, etc.

    I believe in the libertarian and capitalist perspectives, but I’m afraid if their isn’t some degree of restraint the “non-winners” of society will perpetuate a class where it’s difficult to achieve success. This is no clearer that folks that can drop $40K/yr on private school for their kids.

    I also belive that having more money and power makes it easier to change the rules to make it continually easier to accumulate more money and power.

    Believe me, I’m generally not a union supporter, definitely not a socialist, but how do we keep society from getting so out of balance that it becomes unsustainable. eg. no mfg jobs with good pay that allows people to have a house and buy stuff.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — February 27, 2009 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  24. We turn back to what historically has worked. I agree there needs to be constraints. I also have a libertarian bent, but we have gone so far beyond contraints and rather than recognizing the deleterious impact of government involvement in things they have no business regulating, we instead believe the politicians when they tell us our response to the consequences of government growth is more government growth. This has been the traditional route to a descent into socialism. We are on well on our way down the path.

    If this country is to recover, we need less government control, not more. Politicians are not experts on much…not social engineering, not economics…if they have any expertise, then it is the ability to fool the majority into believing they are experts at everything. Unfortunately the electorate has been sold a bad bill of goods and we have embraced even more government control. I’m not confident we will figure it out before it is too late.

    Comment by Curious Resident — February 27, 2009 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

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