Arm Yourself - a preparation primer for Town Meeting Day - Times Argus


Those boring-looking brochures from the town and the school district contain valuable information that can save you money and/or improve your quality of life. It all depends on knowing what’s really going on at Town Meeting this coming Tuesday.

"— Find out whether the town has any surplus and how it is held.

— Know how much debt the town has, and whether any obligations will be paid off in the next year (or whether more are coming).

— What is the school portion of the tax rate? The largest budget question for most towns is the local school budget. This is usually given in a report near the end of the annual report. It is important to inspect the report just as you would the town budget.

— Glance at the town audit and read any footnotes indicating proposed changes in the checks and balances the town has in place. Ask whether there was “a management letter” from the auditor, which is a more private scolding of town officials. If it is not included, ask to see it."

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  • Chris FitzGerald
    commented 2020-03-01 20:27:13 -0500
    In California we would get a booklet about six weeks before an election with candidate statements and endorsements, summaries of propositions and bond proposals with arguments pro and con, and sample ballots. Available in eight languages, including English. It’s much harder here to be an informed voter in the towns.