Seekonk continues to dodge the absurd recommendations from two members of its board of selectmen to shore up budgets with money from free cash. And that's another problem—the misnomer of "free cash." There is no such thing as free cash. Labeling our emergency fund with the name "free cash" gives the wrong perception that we have this bottomless account of free money.
For the sake of this blog post, I'll call our emergency fund budget exactly what it is—Emergency Funding.
Thankfully, the residents of Seekonk refused to take $550,000 from Emergency Funds to make up the shortfall for the building of the North Seekonk Banna Fire Station. None of us are against the building of the station, but it made infinite more sense is to borrow that money through a debt exclusion rather than tap into emergency funds.
Borrowing money at this time is relatively cheap. Also, we don't have the people to staff the Banna Fire station properly at this time. Had we moved to take the money from the emergency fund account we would have a brand new EMPTY fire station, or at the very best–a station with a skeleton crew.
I'm grateful to Selectmen McLintock, Parker and Almeida, who collectively were against funding the Banna Fire Station through draining our emergency funds. They demonstrated common sense and the good of the community.
Hopefully, Fire Chief Jack will consider obtaining a pickup truck via military surplus rather then spending the $35,000 allocated for such a vehicle. Because the town allocates funds doesn't necessitate spending that money when a like vehicle can be obtained for free. The last pickup truck used by the fire dept. served us well and was procured through military surplus.
More sound judgment was demonstrated by not selling the former school dept. building at 69 School Street. This is not the environment to be selling property and we haven't discounted that location for a south end fire station. That property may still serve Seekonk well.
It was a wonderful speech thanking our veterans for their service given by Mr. Cavaco. I would only ask that he accord our current Veterans Agent with the respect he deserves. He has served Seekonk and its veterans well. As such our Town Administrator and Mr. Cavaco ought to practice what he so eloquently stated regarding veterans.
Also, more caution needs to be applied when preparing the Warrant Articles. There were many misspelled words and articles that didn't appear in their entirety.
The office of town administrator has three people working in it—as such a better job of proofreading needs to be applied to the work they prepare for town meetings.
Lastly, although some common sense was applied regarding the budget, we must stop shring up budget shortfalls through raiding our emergency fund account. The purpose of this account is for emergencies not recuing budgets that weren't prepared properly, or overspent.