May 22, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Still Not Seeing Eye to Eye–Bernblum Challenges Hutchinson’s Latest Argument on Town Spending

To the Editor:

In my letter of November 2 to LymeLine I asserted that Nancy Hutchinson’s letter of November 1, in which she argued that a Reemsnyder administration would mean excessive tax increases for Old Lyme, was based on misleading information.  For example, I pointed out as incorrect her statement that “this year we face a 9.8% increase in Town expenditures,” when the actual increase in “Total Expenditures,” as stated in the Town’s budget, is 3.67%.

Mrs. Hutchinson again wrote to LymeLine on November 6 and claimed that her 9.8% statement was correct.  It was not.  As she admits in this letter, she was not referring to total town expenditures, but only the 28% of those expenditures for “Total General Government and Capital Outlay,” omitting the 72% of the budget going to our schools.

Taxes were the subject of Mrs. Hutchinson’s original letter.  They are a function of the entire budget, not 28%.  When Mrs. Hutchinson referred to “a 9.8% increase in Town expenditures,” she made no mention of the fact that she was talking about only a fraction of those expenditures.  The reader was therefore led to believe that the entire town budget went up 9.8% and, therefore, that taxes would likely rise in a similar amount.  She cannot credibly claim that the phrase “Town expenditures” is the same as “Total General Government and Capital Outlay.”  Her 9.8% phrase as written was not accurate and the message it conveyed was clearly misleading.

Sincerely,

Bennett J. Bernblum,
Old Lyme

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Old Lyme Board of Finance, the Democratic Town Committee, and the Halls Road Improvement Committee.

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