I was impressed when the Board of Selectman instructed Town Manager Bill Keegan to keep spending increases to 3.5% for the next fiscal year. While this increase is still above the rate of inflation, it is much more in keeping with other Massachusetts towns, and much lower than increases in previous years. Unfortunately, Mr. Keegan ignored this directive and presented a budget with a 5.7 % increase, spending close to $2,000,000 more than requested by the Board of Selectmen.
Town budget is no different than your own budget. You plan for the future in three important ways: 1. You save for a rainy day. 2. When expenses increase in one area, you cut spending in another area. 3. You try to pay off your credit cards every month, so as not to create a huge debt.
The Town does none of these. Not only do we not save for a rainy day, but we've also been spending down the free cash we have. We do not try to make savings in one area to make up for increases in another; we just increase fees and tax to the max. We do not worry about our future debt; each year we hire more employees, adding to our unfunded pension debt of $35 million.
For the future of those of us who live and pay taxes in Foxboro, this policy of spend, spend, spend needs to stop.
I hope the Board of Selectmen go back to the Town Manager and direct Mr. Keegan to present a budget with an increase of 3.5% as originally requested. As Bill Belichick would say to Mr. Keegan, "Do your job".