The top six reasons to put the Budget on the Ballot in Bedford:
1. 58 people attended a meeting to vote on a Bedford Town Budget last year, the night after thousands of voters cast votes on official ballots.
There is no reason for the budget not to be on the ballot, and every reason for all of the items needing voter approval to be done in one day, on an official ballot.
2. Voting on a Ballot is foundational to our Representative Democracy and our New Hampshire sensibility.
Voting on how your tax dollars are spent is one of the best examples of a representative democracy in action there is.
We Granite-staters are known for our participation in the political process.
Having your say on Bedford’s Town Budget, on a ballot, is simply more secure and more transparent.
3. It incentivizes town government to communicate and reposed to you.
Putting the budget on the ballot means thousands of our voting friends and neighbors get a voice in approving how tax dollars are spent in Bedford.
The current process means that, literally, only a few dozen attendees of a town meeting get to direct the spending of $40 million dollars of your money.
Putting the budget on the ballot means fewer surprises, more open communication, and discussion on our Town Budget.
4. It improves your oversight of your tax dollars.
Putting the budget on the ballot means more people voting to approve the budget.
Special interests will no longer be able to surprise taxpayers and change budgets by bringing a handful of supporters to a late night meeting in an auditorium.
Today, changes to the annual budget are proposed and approved in minutes by just handfuls of meeting attendees.
5. The school budget of nearly $90 million dollars is on the ballot for voters to approve (and has been for more than 20 years), the town budget of nearly $40 million should be on the ballot as well.
Just like the school budget;
The town will have at least one public hearing to present the budget.
Voters can attend the Deliberative Session to debate and change the budget.
Voters will have no less than 30 days to read, review, and decide whether to approve the budget on voting day.
Remember the Croyden school budget fiasco? A YES vote on the charter revision article, to put the budget on the ballot, prevents this kind of manipulation.
6. This charter revision is a non-partisan, citizen-led initiative to increase voter participation and engagement in Bedford.