, Salem, MA


April 18, 2013

An open letter to Wenham selectmen


Will the state Department of Revenue approve our tax rate/budget? I’m fearful that we will not have proper revenue given the Council on Aging and library funding from Hamilton, cemetery transfer issue, and tax bill errors.

6. Minutes clerk. The clerk should have gotten a $100 raise, which was missing from the budget. Again, this is an accounting issue. Too many accounting issues lead to questions of competency and possibly honesty.

7. Cemetery transfer. This seems to be an accounting trick to avoid $10,000 from hitting our tax bill.

8. Council on Aging. Hamilton is no longer sharing services, and our revenue is, therefore, overstated. I don’t know if this position (director) should be part time. Hamilton has decided to maintain a full-time employee.

9. Merit increase. I was happy to see this removed and the money put back in the reserve fund. This seems to be a poor way to negotiate with our employees, stating in the budget what our upper limit is.

10. Sandra Stolle’s comment that the town should approve the new format. I completely agree, and Sandra and I rarely agree on anything.

11. Date of meeting incorrect on Article 1. Small error that, by itself, is insignificant, but these minor errors are compounding.

I did not like the new format of voting on the budget. I hope you give serious consideration to going back to the town approving salaries and expenses. I feel that this process works and leaves little chance of misuse of funds.

I commend the board for moving Chief Blanchard from part-time to full-time employee. I believe, unless compelling evidence is provided, that the finance director should be brought back in-house and funded appropriately.

I also believe that we can find a better town administrator. Mr. Andrews was combative, dismissive and condescending. I pay his salary. I don’t want to pay him any longer.

Patrick Waddell


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