To the Editor,
Regarding Mr. William G, Shipman’s letter in the Manchester Cricket on Friday February 19, I offer these comments.
Since becoming a resident of Manchester in 2008, I recall that for many years, Mr. Shipman has offered his thoughts on spending and taxes during the budgeting process and the run-up to Town Meeting. This year, as in the past, he has done yeoman’s work in presenting charts and tables showing how our town compares to other towns and cities on the North Shore with regard to spending. While this information is very interesting and helpful, it’s only half of the story. It’s just data. Data without analysis shows what we spent but doesn’t tell us why we spent it. In my opinion, lowering taxes is a terrific goal and would be well received by most residents. But would lower taxes impact the quality of life we have come to expect?
I commend Mr. Shipman for all his efforts and his experience serving on the Finance Committee and do hope he can offer yet another commentary detailing, in his opinion, not only where we spend our precious tax dollars but why these expenditures are so much higher than those in neighboring communities. I believe that our elected and/or appointed officials have a responsibility to explain why it is necessary for Manchester to spend more on various services than other communities on the North Shore.
The availability of a tax/spending cost benefit analysis received well before Town Meeting would enable all of us can to make good choices when we vote to approve the budget.
Jim Diedrich, Manchester