You have asked WHAT I WOULD DO IF ELECTED. This is the first of a series answering that question.

There has been much discussion about the February Bonding Open House. How do you find out about meetings? Do you get the notice provided to you by the town? Go to the town website and maybe it is there – not all are on the town website. Do you go to the town hall to read the notice on the posting board? To receive an email notice of all public notices, send an email to the town clerk.

May I suggest getting your own information rather than depending on Nextdoor postings. Go to as many meetings as possible including the planning commission and others. Read the minutes but keep in mind that they are often creative. Compare with what you heard at the meeting. Read all the public copies available during the meeting. Ask for advice from those who do attend. Know the town website. Understand town ordinances.

One of the February meetings was actually a ‘workshop.’ Workshops are generally around the table in the conference Room. Limited public seating is available. If enough people are there, the board will move to the meeting room. Almost never are public questions or comments taken at a workshop.

Roads – plan. I presume everyone has seen the multi-colored road “plan” first displayed at the Town
Annual Meeting last year (2023). It’s a great START! An important piece of missing information is the traffic levels. With that you may be able to determine priority, but only if there is an approved plan. To my knowledge, that multi-color was prepared by the then town engineer without full board input. I seriously doubt all board members have driven all the town roads. In a discussion with the engineer at my home, I pointed out road issues and remarked that he and Dave I presume have documented on their annual road drive. He informed me that that they no longer do it. We are not ready to bond for road work without some significant effort.

Frankly, I don’t know what the board could put before the electors.

The Annual Meeting is unique to town government. Unofficial results of elections may be made available during, but it is not required. Certain other items may be done. The budget is to be discussed. It is NOT required to approve the budget at the March Annual Meeting.

We do NOT discuss the budget – (the expenses proposed to be incurred.) This import step is bypassed. What should happen next is the electors (we at the meeting) propose any changes as to what we think should be planned and budgeted for. This does NOT need to be completed at the annual meeting in March, it is just ‘West Lakeland we have always done it this way.’

I recommend the town delay. You may not know that 2025 ‘budget’ (my current topic) was developed in a special meeting January 5, 2024. The board will want us to approve it in March 2024. The levy is not due to the county until September 30. Anyone with business budget and planning experience knows, a better job of predicting can be done in September for the following year than in January.

It is NOT only registered voters who can attend the Annual Meeting. ANYONE may attend. There is NO attempt made to even suggest only town residents can vote at the annual meeting.

Typically, the annual meeting starts with presentations by the fire department chief, the county sheriff, and some elected officials, rather than with work to be accomplished that evening.

As before, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me.

If you haven’t been attending annual meetings, now is a good time to start!

Vote Vince Anderson for Town Board March 12