Sunday, August 19, 2007

Town Council Money Appropriation this Monday

One of the items the council is set to vote on is $3000 for the Senior Center for computer equipment for their offices. This is a carryover item from last yr. Granted, this isn't a lot of money, but still, nothing to be ignored.
Why isn't this in their regular budget which is the highest on the island? Couldn't they have raised this on their own? They certainly put on fundraisers in Newport & Portsmouth. The Senior Center rec'd a raise in funding this yr. With cutbacks in many other areas, I don't think this is a lot to ask.
What exactly is the documented membership? It's a fair question in the current financial atmosphere. The Senior Center should present a detailed accounting of its income in the town budget along with the library.
I've known several citizens who have offered their skill in computing to the Senior Center with zilch response. In the center of a high tech area, there are many advantages the Ctr. could take of for nothing. But with secure town funding guaranteed & no questioning every year on their budget, what is the incentive?
With tax caps, increased fees, fewer services, layoffs in the schools, etc., every budget needs to be closely examined. It's also appropriate to ask which departments need to be a part of the town & which could stand on their own with appropriate financial support.
I've already editorialized on the fact that I believe the Center should stand on its own like the other centers on the island do. It would no longer be a town dept. but would function as a non-profit with a town allotment. Since the Senior Center is part of the Charter, it would take a town referendum to do this. Same goes for the public library. You would never even notice the difference.
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