I mentioned to a friend how there’s a point in the budget process when a light goes on in your brain. It comes after you’ve seen the proposed budgets, and have been reviewing the town departments’ requests.
There’s one night when the Town Manager’s focus is on the town’s debt, it’s debt reserves, pension obligations, bonding, and what our colleague across the aisle refers to as “the gorilla” – the WPCA payments in 2018. The light comes when you realize that you have to put all those numbers, all those outstanding obligations, with the operating budgets.
And then the light can either go out, and you feel very burdened, or it glows and you say “aha”. And that “aha” is when you realize that it’s doable, and the numbers can be managed. And the town can provide new services, and not just cut requests. We three all had that great “aha” – almost at the same time!, and (Democrat Town Council member) Peter (Talbot) deserves huge kudos for working the numbers for us as we crafted that alternative.
He kept track of what our friends across the aisle were concerned with so we could accommodate their requests, and be as inclusive as possible. I’m very happy to be a member of such a great team!