Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

September 26, 2013

Time for reduction, not expansion of town staff

The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

The recent controversy about expanding Andover’s finance staff and the attendant costs calls for some numbers illustrating our financial position. From the Finance Committee’s report for the spring’s Town Meeting, we can see that the sum of the unfunded obligations (page 3), the FY2014 new debt (page 5) and the current debt already has our good citizens on the hook for $408 million. If we divide that by 11,851 households (2010 data), it amounts to a whopping $34,000 per household.

It is inconsistent for the selectmen to beleaguer the town manager for a plan to address the burgeoning indebtedness, while adding to the burden with expenditures not strictly necessary. Under our circumstances, the responsible course would be to seek reduction, not expansion, of staffing and costs — if, that is, we’re to operate like a responsible business or household rather than the federal government. The latter can print money; the town elders can’t.

P. Lapsa

30 Wild Rose Drive