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Opinion: Panton deserves better

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Posted on February 28, 2019 |
By J. Douglas Dows



Last fall when the Panton selectboard attempted to lower the tax rate by using funds that had been previously allocated for other expenses (the mistake was discovered by a town auditor), the chair of the selectboard attributed the mistake to an erroneous spreadsheet produced by the Town Clerk/Treasurer. That was a lie. To date the chair, Howard Hall, has yet to publicly apologize to the Town Clerk/Treasurer.

Last year, the selectboard overspent the general fund budget. The amount of the over expenditure in the town report is inaccurate. The amount would have been greater had the funds been properly accounted. The selectboard instructed the Clerk/Treasurer to assign General Fund expenditures to Capital Fund accounts. This is incorrect. The town auditors warned the selectboard that reserve accounts are not to be used for general town expenses.

When the selectboard was deciding whether to fix the front steps, the accessibility ramp or both, the Board did not know how to account for the accrued balance in the restoration fund. Consequently, the selectboard divided the job into two projects. This increased the total cost. And, instead of fixing the ramp which everyone could use, they fixed the front steps first. The result was, town meeting had to be held in the town garage.

The Town of Panton deserves better. That’s why I am voting for write-in candidate Joy Jackson for selectboard. I hope you will, too.

J. Douglas Dows

Panton

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