Select board problems

To the Editor:

It is with considerable interest I read minutes of select board meetings from surrounding towns. A recurring theme of discussion, dissent -- that being the status of Class IV roads -- presents itself quite frequently. After locating on or near a Class IV road some people feel that Class IV road status should be changed to better serve their needs. Often the change requested is to upgrade their road to Class III and thereby pass the upkeep and maintenance of said road to the rest of the taxpayers in the town by making the town road department responsible for such.

When you bought or located there, unless you were duped by your lawyer, realtor or were completely naive such was not the case. In effect the price you paid for your holdings was influenced by that Class IV status. You now ask the rest of the taxpayers to buoy the value of your holdings by elevating your Class IV road to Class III. The usual step is to request the school bus stop at your door and the list goes on.

If you think your taxes are high for the services you receive take it up at grievance with your listers and leave your neighbors out of the equation. You knew what you bought or at least should have. What is wrong with being satisfied with that.

Less frequently we see requests to downgrade Class IV road status and thus to basically lock the public out. Essentially the same elements apply; you knew what you bought and the public has a right to responsible access.

The decision to upgrade or downgrade Class IV roads should be carefully scrutinized. Such scrutiny will often reveal undue influence or less than desirable small town politics.

In Walden we cannot even pass a school budget. Part of the problem is the average taxpayer feels he is being bled to death, yet at the town meeting we continually hear requests for more and more. In regard to the use of FEMA monies it seems the consensus is, if we do not take the FEMA money someone else will. FEMA has no money. Our Government is BROKE. Fiscal responsibility has to start somewhere and it won't be at the top. To have any remote chance of success it must start at home, in our towns, at the grass root level. We desperately need to prioritize our tax dollar expenditures and start living realistically within our means. Do not continually ask your neighbor and big brother government for a handout -- it's not there!!

Dwayne Langmaid

Walden, Vt.


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