Budget not sheet of dreams
I would like to make a comment on the letter from former North Franklin Township Supervisor Bob Sabot that appeared in the Monday edition of the Observer-Reporter.
Sabot says it was different when he served on the board in the 1990s. He is both right and wrong.
We all know how costs have gone up in our lives, as well as government budgets. There are operational costs and demands placed on elected officials that don’t always fit properly in budgets, but, to satisfy their constituents, some issues get squeezed in for the sake of being nice. But a budget is not supposed to be a sheet of dreams, but contain real facts, supported with real funding and intentions.
I was in attendance at a few budget meetings this fall where no more than 15 people were attending, mostly from the fire company. This is not how you should support those elected to positions to protect your investment in the community. Rent or own, business or employee, you own a seat in the meeting room.
As a former supervisor in neighboring Chartiers Township and now a resident of North Franklin Township, I can understand North Franklin’s budget concerns. When your tax revenues are at their limit and nothing much is proposed to bring in new revenues, you review spending.
In the case of North Franklin, it shocks me to see they do not use light and hydrant assessments, but pay the costs from the general fund. An assessment, permitted by law, would be very inexpensive for property owners. Franklin Farms Road is heavily traveled and needs lighting, as do other township roads. The $50,000 general fund expense would be better supporting roads or police.
The board, knowing the limits of their tax revenue, chose to create two new positions – a full-time manager and full-time secretary. These positions, being full-time, come with benefits. Taken together, this increased administrative costs by $150,000.
To be elected supervisor, you’re empowered to provide the community with services. Administration, engineering and solicitor costs are controllable.