Charts, graphs and other visuals: 2009 Archives
What is the Tea Party movement about? It's a nonpartisan citizen taxpayer uprising against too much spending, too much debt and too much resultant taxing, as this cartoon captures.
The key players in the budget discussions in Chatham are the elected members of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee.
The Town Manager reports to the Selectmen.
The Superintendent of Schools reports to the School Committee.
The Finance Committee members, appointed by the Town Moderator, review the proposed spending plans and make recommendations to the members of the Town Meeting convening in May.
To get a bigger picture of the chart below, click on it. As with any pop-up chart or picture, for future reference you can print it out or save it to a file on your computer by right-clicking on it.
Tell you fellow taxpayers about this site and that they can join our email update list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. See the link to the right of this column under "Contact" for an easy way to send us an email or send in your usual way.
Retirees count on Social Security and, if they are lucky, whatever they can draw from their savings by way of dividends and capital gains. Capital gains and dividends disappered for many during 2008.
How bad was the devastation of the stock market in 2008? In context, it was breathtakingly bad:
No wonder taxpayers are worried about paying their bills.
Not only are we in financially chaotic times, we are in a zone of "zero inflation" such as we have not experienced in our lifetimeS. The Federal CPI report released January 16th shows that from December 2007 to December 2008 the three inflation measures averaged out to below zero. And we know that Gross Domestic Product contracted 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 as spending continued to ratchet downward.
What does this mean for Chatham? Since there are no increases in the cost of living, what increases in compensation should be considered for Fiscal 2010? Many towns and cities are freezing salaries at fiscal 2009 levels to avoid layoffs.
To get a bigger picture of this news release, click on the picture below.
This past Wednesday, February 4th, Chatham Concerned Taxpayers had its first meeting at the Chatham Community Center. Although the meeting was at the unusual hour of 8 a.m. and was taking place after a snowstorm, some 65 taxpayers showed up. The meeting was advertised principally by email and word-of-mouth. From the discussions that took up most of the meeting time, Chatham taxpayers are indeed concerned. We will post on this website some of the material -- graphic and written -- that was presented at the meeting. We will be updating this website frequently as we develop more information.
The graph shown below probably got the most reaction. Chatham's town spending has sooared from $21 million plus to $31 million plus in just eight years. That's 44%.
Despite the financial crisis the world, the nation, the state and Chatham citizens find themselves in, the town's draft budget proposes yet more spending that will result in property tax increases at a time when citizens are trying to make do with what they have.
Click on the chart to get a bigger picture.