Welcome to Twin Lakes

      A 13 percent levy increase for Lakewood School. One of the largest, if not the largest, increase in the state.

      Wonder why your tax bill went up while other towns went down or stayed the same?

      Here are some of the reasons:

      Our School Board decided not to follow the guidelines that the governor gave to the schools. They think they know better.

      First: 1.6 percent salary increase (about $48,000) I’m sure you got a raise.

      Second: do we make staff pay 12.4 percent for health? No – we only make it 10 percent (a lost savings of about $14,000 not counting dental)

      Third: do we have a double dipper on staff?

      Fourth: health deductibles. We pay about $120,000 in deductibles for them so they wouldn’t have that hardship.  Who pays your deductible?

      Fifth: gifts to those who take spouses insurance instead of Lakewood. They are gifted with about $5,600 for a total of $48,000.

      Sixth: do we have a business office that seems to have misplaced about $218,000? What is that costing us to straighten out? Between audits, consultants, and help from a neighboring school we are paying for that person’s error and that person is still employed at Lakewood. Would you still have a job?

      If you add up the above numbers it comes to about $226,000 not counting the misplaced money.

      The icing on the cake is that the Board voted themselves a 60 percent – yes a 60 percent – pay raise.

      Remember they were elected by you and work for you for the kids.  Sounds to me like it is for the staff.

 

Kathy Ticha

Twin Lakes

 

The 2011 Budget

      2011 is over. The question is: should the Town Administrator be held accountable for his performance regarding the budget?

      In the fall of 2010, the Town Administrator (TA) presented the then proposed 2011 budget to the Town Board. The Board approved that budget. During 2011, the Town received and spent money and that was charged to the categories in the budget.

      2011 is over. How did the Town, and the TA, do? Did we overspend, under spend, or meet their targets? Should the TA be measured by his performance administering the budget?

      Why did the TA’s budget propose to spend $130,700 for street paving and then not spend it? For that matter, why did he choose $130,700 and not $125,000, or $150,000? Why is he proposing $173,100 for 2012 and not $175,000? What project do they have lined up that requires exactly $173,100 in 2012? How did the Town Board let him get away with that?

      When the Town budgets an expense, it causes our taxes to be unnecessarily high. Why would they budget for street paving and then not pave any streets? They did this in 2010 as well. $173,000 represents a five percent tax difference to you and me.

      Did the Town spend money during the 2011 and not show it in the budget?

      In January the Board should be reviewing the TA’s performance against the budget and taking appropriate action. When I was in business we called this “closing the loop”, “or coming full circle.”

      Where is the final budget, for 2011, with ALL of the actuals, and ALL of the expenditures, budgeted and not budgeted? Why isn’t that final budget posted on the web site?

      Where is the open communication that Diann keeps saying she provides?

      What does the Town of Salem have to hide from its taxpayers?

 

Jim Valentine

Salem

 

Ryan is trying to solve problems

      Human Events magazine named Paul Ryan as “2011 Conservative of the Year.” They chose Ryan “for his relentless commitment to proposing bold, free-market reforms to rein in an out-of-control, ever-expanding government that is destroying the American economy.”

      Lawrence Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “Kudlow and Company” and a nationally syndicated columnist wrote how deserving Ryan is of the award and lauds Ryan for trying to save America from fiscal bankruptcy, economic stagnation and a European-style entitlement state.

      Kudlow commented how Ryan’s superior knowledge of healthcare baffled Obama and left him speechless during a White House meeting. He wrote the serious Ryan budget, which lowers spending by $6.2 trillion, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion over 10 years, totally outflanked the White House. It embarrassingly exposed the Obama Administration’s flimsy and inconsequential 2012 budget, which even rejected the findings of Obama’s own Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.

      When Ryan unveiled his first Medicare-reform package, which featured patient-centered consumer choice and market competition, Obama whipped up a Medicare panic, saying Ryan’s plan “ends Medicare as we know it.” The website PolitiFact labeled this “the lie of the year.”

      Ryan later amended his Medicare reform with the bipartisan support of Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, to keep the existing system as an option, and bolstered it with a menu of market-based private insurance plans to promote cost-cutting choice and competition. Kudlow laments that the White House went rhetorically ballistic, although it couldn’t put together a serious response.

      Unlike the divisive Obama, Ryan is trying to solve problems.

 

Larry Holterman

Milton

 

 
 

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