To the Editor:

In less than a week, we will find ourselves at town meeting. It feels like Duxbury’s 2019 meeting was a week or so ago.

A great deal has happened in the past year and a number of questions will need to be answered next Tuesday on the condition of Duxbury’s finances. Recent headlines in the Waterbury Record require we seriously examine the management of the town’s affairs.

Six months ago, we were presented with a proposal to bond repairs to the town garage. We were informed in November that the town budget for the last fiscal year was over by $156,000. Moreover, at that time we were also informed that the current budget was as well headed for a deficit; little did we realize the extent of it.

The cause for our dilemma we’ve been told are storm-related repairs going back to 2017 and as recent as Halloween in 2019. We are informed the answer rests with the assistant to the select board and the grants he has applied for and has been shepherding over the past year and a half.

I attended both meetings prior to the bond vote in November. At no time did I feel comfortable with the responses offered regarding these projects and the town’s obligations. During the past six months, I have become increasingly skeptical of where we stand.

I chose to review the written minutes of the select board meetings, I read and reread the treasurer and select board letters in the town meeting report, I have reviewed both last fiscal year’s budget and the proposed fiscal 2021 budget and I’m disturbed with where Duxbury finances stand today.

Storm-related infrastructure damage has challenged the town in the 17 years I have lived here. The role of the select board is to both manage the day-to-day affairs and, more importantly, administer the recovery from these events in a fiscally responsible manner.

Given the information I have reviewed as of this date, I do not believe such has been the case. Accordingly, I will vote no on the articles for repair to the town garage as well as the purchase of a new pickup truck and I recommend voters do the same.

There are too many unanswered questions regarding projects and grants the town has embarked on. Until such time as these questions are resolved, I believe it would be foolhardy to take such action.

Richard Charland


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