In response to my analysis last week of Grafton’s financial position, Selectman Brook Padgett at this week’s Board of Selectmen meeting retracted his support to work with the Finance Committee to create agreed-upon five year financial forecasts which would assist the town in being transparent with residents about where their money is going.
In doing so, Padgett stated that I “don’t understand how we do budgets” and that there were several things that were wrong with the piece. He declined to list the things that were wrong, of course, and failed to establish what precisely I don’t understand about budgeting. I, of course, am the rube with the juris doctor who has spent years on local budgeting. But whatever. Maybe Brook will take the time someday to explain what I’m missing.
Or, more to the point, maybe he’ll take the time to explain to the teachers that we’re going to lay off why they’re being laid off. Or maybe he’ll explain that to the parents who won’t be sending their kids to those teachers anymore.
Maybe he’ll explain to voters why he repeatedly proclaimed that the town was in excellent financial shape, all while projections showed trouble on the horizon. Maybe he’ll explain why he felt the need to have the town auditor declare we aren’t running a structural deficit. Because, as Tim McInerney said in this week’s Grafton News, a well-run town doesn’t run out of money.
Or maybe he’ll just engage in character assassination. In the midst of his diatribe, Brook declared that I have ill-intent, and mentioned that “oh yeah, that’s the guy from affordable housing,” referencing the time I kept a million dollars of affordable housing money from being spent on other things. Dear Brook and Tim: I still have the memo Tim sent to other town departments asking them to apply for that money.
I’m speaking directly now to the thousand or so Grafton voters who continually re-elect this person: Haven’t you seen enough? Especially you liberals. If I described to you an elected official who was so thin-skinned that he took legitimate criticism as a personal affront and then attempted to bully government volunteers into submission, you’d say “What did Trump do this time?” But here we are. And I guess its okay because, you know, you play basketball with him, or he likes Apple Tree Arts, or something. I don’t get it.
So long as I live here, I’m going to require that my government do it right. That we apply best practices and that we respect the people who volunteer to make their community a better place. If the hacks don’t like it, so be it.
At the end of the meeting, Selectmen Jen Thomas mentioned that Brook would get to be the subject of another blog. This was the first accurate thing I’ve heard from her in a while.
And just so you all know, we’re going to get our damned budget projections, come Hell or high water.