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Budget Committee

 

John Jensen, Vice Chair term expires 2024
Brian Powers Jr. term expires 2024
Wendy Pelletier, Secretary term expires 2025
Vacant term expires 2025
William Pearse Jr., Chair term expires 2026

 

The Hope Budget Committee is comprised of five hard-working, thoughtful individuals. The business of the Budget Committee is examining town spending. Our business is not setting policy; that is up to the Select Board and the School Committee.

It's the Budget Committee's job to look at two pictures: a small one and a big one.

The small picture:
Do we really need that new piece of equipment?
Do we have the most cost-effective provider of every service we use?
Should the town or school provide that particular service?
Roads and schools are our two largest cost centers. For example: Should the town pave less? Should the school committee cut the school budget?

And the big picture:
Will the state cut school funding again this year?
Is excise tax revenue keeping pace with projections?
Will the state be taking some of this revenue for itself?

And this is where we find our biggest challenge. The small picture clashes with the big picture, and vice versa, in many ways and from many angles. This year, the conflict is as bad as it has ever been.

There's not enough money coming in to pay for everything the school committee and selectmen say they need to run their respective operations. Sure, there's some trimming that can be done in any budget. We've looked at the budgets, school and municipal. We've made suggestions about where cuts can be made. But the bottom line is, the Town of Hope and the Hope Elementary School are facing more costs, and more mandatory costs, than ever. It boils down to these questions:

How much can you afford to pay in property taxes? If spending is not cut, and revenues fall, the only other source of funding for the town is property taxes.

What kind of services do you expect the town and the school to provide to you? Are you willing to pay for those services, no matter how much they cost?

If not, what cuts should be made? And: what are you willing to do to help the town deal with these challenges?

Official Website of Hope, Maine