Town Finance Committee / River Garden

Tonight at our regular meeting, the Town Finance Committee voted unanimously to request that the municipality (Brattleboro Town Government) discover and sum up the total amount of public (tax) monies spent to originally create, and to continue since then to maintain, the Robert H. Gibson River Garden, from the time of its inception until the current time.

Comments | 7

  • Was there a reason?

    Other than to have an accurate accounting, was there a reason that the committee made this request?

    • Accounting

      It seems to me that this piece of the puzzle will be helpful in thinking about what portion of the River Garden really belongs to the public, and therefore what options are appropriate.

      If I were in charge around here (ahem!) I would have every for-profit entity that receives governmental funds cede some portion of its profits to the government above and beyond taxes. I know, I know, BaBB’s a non-profit, I’m thinking of the Brooks House here and so many others.

    • Accounting....

      The committee wishes to appraise itself of the level and sources of public funding that the River Garden has received. The FC regularly makes requests relating to any number of Town financial matters. This is a normal part of our work and no particular significance should be attributed to this request.

      • Straight from the bureaucratic phrase book...

        “…and no particular significance should be attributed to this request.”

        There may be significance to the request, but not particular significance?

    • 'Without Prejudice'

      It is a request being made ‘without prejudice’, as it were. The Finance Committee has no particular agenda or motivation beyond wanting to know, and wishing the voters/taxpayers to have the information available to them.

      • An appropriate inquiry

        I plead guilty to being a stickler for using the right words to convey your true meaning.

        Buzzwords, jargon, meaningless pat phrases annoy me. And I found the idea that the Finance Committee would embark on an investigation on a matter which has “no particular significance” to be nonsensical: Why would they spend time getting information about an insignificant matter?

        John Wilmerding’s clarification that the Committee does not have a predetermined agenda is a point well taken. What happens with the Rivergarden certainly is a matter of significance for this community. What John is saying is that the investigation is not intended to produce a particular outcome, but that it will be an impartial investigation of the facts.

        Gathering the facts should always be the prerequisite to decision making. The work of the Finance Committee is clearly not solely an “academic exercise,” which will have no impact on policy. Its work in gathering the facts will (or should) help provide the basis for sound policy decisions.

        Do I have that right?

        • Yes, but I Write Here Only on my Own Behalf, as an Individual

          I think you’re correct, Steven. But because I don’t want to contribute to any speculative discussion about this, I’ll limit my responses to what I have already said on this thread. “Without prejudice” — for me this is the operative and truest phrase.

          I hasten to add as well that I am not presuming to speak for any other Finance Committee members, nor for the Committee itself. I just wanted to refer to a fact – an action by the Committee (which is a public body and an organ of our local government) which we all *apparently* feel we are taking in the public’s interest (since the vote to do so was unanimous).

Leave a Reply