Enough fee baloney
In the article “Barre housing nonprofits faces big fee hike,” Fire Marshall Matt Cetin states the bandied-about inspection fee hike of $22 for the federally subsidized housing is treating “the housing authorities the same as other landlords in the city (and) would generate additional revenue for the (Barre) inspection program without creating much in the way of new work for inspectors.” That’s great, of course.
However, the modus operandi of Barre is that the money will not stay in the inspection program and will be funneled into just about any conceivable noninspection budget area you could possibly fathom. The $810,000 the voters approved for sidewalk and road repair only to find suddenly sucked out, in totality, to pay for also voted but nonfunded budget items, should be a clue about how this is going to turn out.
If Barre is going to use a fee increase to fully fund a much improved inspection program for its rental housing, I’m all for it. But if it’s going to get used as yet another cash cow to milk to pay for things the city should have already budgeted for, forget it.
I’m done with this David Copperfield budget baloney — it’s time for voters to demand some accountability. The taxpayers’ goal here should be to see that any budgeted item goes exactly where the voters intended it to when they voted it. No more shell game, no more trying to guess what the hand you can’t see is doing.
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