This week’s North Haven Citizen contains an article about some of what First Selectman Janet McCarty plans to do in 2008. I recommend you read it.
Her first priority is to present a transparent budget. And she’s backing that up by appointing the Board of Education Business Manager, Ed Gomeau, to be interim budget coordinator. From what I’ve heard about Mr. Gomeau (who has returned to North Haven after working elsewhere), this is a great decision. He will bring a new process and a new attitude to a system that has formerly been all Vincent Palmeri all the time, with the Board of Finance just going along with false numbers, illegal budget transfers, and little respect for the input of department heads (except for Joseph Ierardi, whose department's budget numbers somehow were the only ones on target).
This town should thank Mr. Gomeau for taking on this extra burden and sharing with us his expertise. He can’t perform miracles, but at least the Board of Finance and the Town Meeting will have the best possible budget to vote on.
We should also thank Ms. McCarty for continuing to talk openly about her plans for the year. It's not only new, but courageous, because it opens her up for attack as her plans don't all pan out as quickly as she (and we) would like.
Also in this week’s Citizen, it says that McCarty delayed the January 3 Board of Selectmen meeting because Palmeri’s lawyer was in Arizona, and that rescheduling the meeting has been hampered by her attempt to get Palmeri’s lawyer to attend the meeting.
Also of note in the Citizen is Republican Selectman Michael Freda’s statement that there will be “fundamental disagreements” between him and the Democratic Selectmen, and that he will deliver his criticism at future meetings. It’s interesting that, in all he wrote on this blog, there were no fundamental disagreements that I could see. I hope he doesn’t hold back his ideas for presentation at Board of Selectmen meetings, but instead shares them with citizens so that they can be discussed in advance. Not only can citizens add their take on his ideas, but with their input, he might find areas and means of compromise.