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As I read in The Valley Reporter a couple weeks ago about constables in Warren, it seems the Warren Select Board wants control of the constable position and is looking to make it a possibly paid position. I, for one, do not want the constable position to be any more than a ceremonial position. In a meeting with state police and the sheriff's department several months ago, it was made pretty clear that in the reality of things there has been no great increase in crime.
I felt or interpreted they felt there was no need for more law enforcement while not saying a little extra help would not hurt. They said it was a decision for the town, which is, I guess, why the vote for select board control over the position of constable is happening. At present, they control the cash for the position and that includes roughly $5,000 to insure the constable position for wrongful death if they were to accidentally shoot someone. I, for one, want to see no funding for the constable positions! The position of constable should stay as it was, a basic ceremonial position with no guns and no authority! We do not need another expense. This is going to be voted on at Town Meeting not by Australian ballot – the select few will decide again when the issue is voted from the floor.
I think the select board should worry about the $4.2 million-plus/minus in paving expenses that I believe we have no money in the budget for; correct me if I am wrong. There was roughly $286,000-plus/minus in the budget when the Sugarbush Access Road was paved. I believe Sugarbush was responsible for making that project happen with both money and time; again, correct me if I am wrong. But I think some select board members are more worried about sidewalks in the village than real issues such as the paving of the roads, and where is the money going to come from?
Last but not least, $127,000-plus/minus is proposed for a new classroom for Warren School which will also be voted from the floor of Town Meeting at the school board meeting. This is again an important issue being decided by a select few.
So these are a few things that face the citizens of Warren, but don't trust me; look into it for yourselves. I know I sound terrible, but I do thank the select board and the school board for their time and hard work they put in. But just because I tend to disagree does not mean I am not grateful, but your work is for the town as a whole and not the selected few. Also I thank the constables for their hard work on the constable project. But it is a service I do not think we need or can afford.
So, do you care enough one way or another to show up at your local Town Meeting if you can?
Tim Seniff lives in Warren.