TRR site posts inaccurate information - from someone who knows

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TRR site posts inaccurate information - from someone who knows

Post by C on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:01 am

A lot of what appears on the Rumford Distorter annoys me, but right now
two stories in particular were brought to my attention. The first is
the computer contents nonsense. I never asked for my hard drive to be
erased, in the waning hours or otherwise. You can corroborate this
story with Len Greaney. The lap top crashed in April-May. I spoke with
our computer people at Advanced Microsystems in Lewiston. They heard my
description of the issue and suggested it was the hard drive. They
recommended buying an entirely new machine. A member of the town staff,
who is knowledgeable about these things, said we could probably fix it.
I thought, "that's smart, I'll fix it for $100, instead of replacing it
for $500." It was out of my office for over a month. In the meantime, I
borrowed a laptop from the PD; they are understaffed, so have some
surplus equipment. I found a new hard drive on E-bay (which I purchased
on my own credit card) and asked a staff member to replace it. The
employee backed up everything on the old computer before replacing the
hard drive. Not that it was necessary; we put everything on a server
which is saved to a remote profile. This is what allowed me to continue
to function while using one of the PD's computers. No matter what
computer is used, as long as the user is logged in they can access
everything on that "computer." In fact, I worked from my personal
laptop for two days while snowed in at Jackson Hole, and two days from
both Terri's computer and from Debbie's computer. I accessed personnel
and union information available only to the town manager from those two
computers.

The second is the LD1 "spending cap." There is no
such thing. LD1 is a "tax cap." If it were a spending cap it would be
easy. For the moment I am going to ignore the fact that Jennifer Norris
and Ron Theriault were largely responsible for the question being on
the ballot (how responsible is it to cut town departments and give
money to social service organizations over which the town has no
control?). LD1 is one small piece of a total municipal budget (actually
it affects the school budget also, but in this regard the state is
failing us - I think). If we think of a municipal budget as getting
funded through two separate "pots" of money, then LD1 may make more
sense. The first pot is property taxes; it is the largest. The second
we'll call "other." Other comes from things like excise taxes, state
revenue sharing, and carried balances. If we have a $7 million budget,
can count on $2 million of other, then we need $5 million in property
taxes. LD1 gives us a formula, not altogether arbitrary, that
determines how much we can increase the total amount of the tax
commitment used for municipal purposes from one year to the next. If we
can only increase the total commitment to $4.9 million, then we need to
find $100,000 somewhere. We either ask the voters to approve an
additional $100k in total property tax commitment, cut the budget
$100k, or find it in "other." It's not easy and each choice has its
pros and cons.

That's the nuts and bolts of LD1, almost. At the
risk of being even more wonkish, the Distorter is completely wrong
about what happens if LD1 is voted down, but the budget articles are
voted up. No one goes back to the drawing board. The town either finds
the money in "other" or simply doesn't spend the money. As long as the
total tax commitment doesn't go above that set amount the town adheres
to LD1. Think about it like this: If you need a new roof for your house
and you saved $10,000 for it, but the contractor says it will cost
$10,500, you either find the $500 somewhere or work something out that
allows you to not spend that $500. Maybe it means you supply some sweat
equity, maybe you use a cheaper material, who knows. The town's people
vote an appropriation (google it); it is simply the legal authority to
spend. Nothing says it has to be spent, just that no more than it can
be spent (not including grants and carried balances). It's easy to get
lost in the details, but conceptually it is pretty straight forward if
you ask the questions.

Jim
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C
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Location : Rumford, ME

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Re: TRR site posts inaccurate information - from someone who knows

Post by C on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:04 am

Rumford Free Press
said...

Jim, you were a class act as our town manager and handled yourself
with the utmost dignity and self control. I now respect you even more
for taking the time to correct some of this misinformation. Thank you
June 23, 2008 10:39 PM


flat broke
said...

Mr. Doar, can you say sour grapes? That is what is see coming from
the Rumford Distorter. Someone ran for position of town manager and did
not win. Instead of viewing it as losing, it should have been viewed as
"I gave the people another option for town magager. The people made
their choice. I contributed to democracy". Unfortunately, someone can't
see it that way. Therefore, a smear campaign was in order. A witch
hunt. Nothing would be viewed in a positive light. Stories would be
"reported" without facts to support the stories. As we all know,
stories without facts are fiction or fantasy. When the facts are
presented to the publishers of the fiction or fantasy stories, they
will move on to another aspect of their "target". Much like the RPD
"targeted" town officers? Mr. Doar, the fact that New Page took you on
is testament to your ability and talent. Your commitment to ethics.
Sport scouts look for talent in individuals. The team that the
individual is on may have a losing season, but if the individual
performs to a standard of excellence, the scouts will see that.
Apparently, New Page watched you while you were playing on a losing
team and saw YOUR talent. Congratulations on your new position. Keep
The Faith.
June 24, 2008 1:02 AM

Anonymous
said...

Yes Jim, how goes the new job? We miss you at town hall! As I've
said before, you're just one of those people who will do well no matter
what...it's obvious.
June 24, 2008 6:31 AM
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Re: TRR site posts inaccurate information - from someone who knows

Post by C on Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:09 am

Why do we choose to cut the budgets for our fire and police yet approve budgets for Black Mountain and other privately owned entities?
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