Audit First?

To the Editor:

Our town officials have presented a well thought out detailed budget for the 2015 fiscal year showing a sincere effort to keep costs down. Yet we have a request for an appropriation of $198,000 from the Mark Skinner Library, added as an additional article to the town budget. Manchester taxes will increase this year without consideration of special appropriation requests.

The Town of Manchester Budget Report notes on page 8 that appropriations to social service agencies have increased from $16,031 in 2002 to the current total of $221,231 for Fiscal Year 2015. It is further noted that this represents an "increase of just less than fourteen times in fourteen years."

We are told this appropriation request represents about 50 percent of the library budget. Have the Select Board and Town Manager reviewed audited financial statements and their proposed budget? Should our town Auditor be involved in reviewing the same? Shouldn't the taxpayers have the proposed budget and financials available for their review before voting upon an appropriation as significant as $198,000? A taxpayer vote by Australian ballot should occur only after discussion and review of budgeting and financial information.

Barbara Comer

Manchester Center

Due to an editing error, the headline on a letter Ms. Comer submitted for publication and which was printed In last week's issue of the Manchester Journal contained an error. The headline should have read "Public Funds for Private Use."

The Journal regrets the mistake, and apologies all around.


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