Latest attempt at Brandon budget has cuts to DPW, rec, not police
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | July 29,2014
BRANDON – The Select Board on Monday night took another stab at cobbling together a budget, scaling back the Public Works Director and Recreation Director jobs but leaving the Police Department intact for the time being.
The board voted 4-1 to make Brain Sanderson’s job as Public Works Director job a half-time position while Bill Moore’s job as Recreation Director would become a three-quarters position. The other 25 percent would be dedicated to economic development work.
A motion by Selectman Blaine Cliver to present a budget that included cutting a police officer failed for lack of a second. Cliver’s motion also called for eliminating one instead of two DPW jobs as well as reducing the library appropriation by 5 percent.
Voters last week rejected a $3 million municipal budget for the fourth time, leaving Brandon as the only town in the state without a budget. The vote was 600 to 425.
The board scheduled the next vote for Aug. 26, the day of the Vermont primary.
A standing room only crowd filled the basement of the Town Hall on Monday night for another lengthy debate on the budget.
After four budget defeats, Cliver said “the Select Board needs to listen to the rest of the town.”
“I think it’s time to compromise,” he said.
For Cliver, that meant reluctantly cutting the eighth police officer position which would result in a savings of $70,000.
Police Chief Christopher Brickell has warned repeatedly that the only way the town can continue providing 24/7 coverage is with eight officers.
The board recently voted to authorize Brickell to fill the eighth officer position. For the past three years that job has been paid for with a grant, but now the town has to assume the cost.