Heckert: Warren can ill afford this kind of leadership

State Street resident Brandt Heckert, the owner of Providence's Pastiche, makes a plea at last month's Financial Town Meeting to not cut town employees' salaries. State Street resident Brandt Heckert, the owner of Providence's Pastiche, makes a plea at last month's Financial Town Meeting to not cut town employees' salaries.

State Street resident Brandt Heckert, the owner of Providence's Pastiche, makes a plea at last month's Financial Town Meeting to not cut town employees' salaries.

State Street resident Brandt Heckert makes a plea at last month’s Financial Town Meeting to not cut town employees’ salaries.

To the editor:
In his farewell letter printed in last week’s paper, former Warren Building Official Bill Nash criticized the actions of an organized “vocal minority” that in his opinion “will result in irreparable harm to the Town of Warren.”
I share that opinion, although am hopeful that the harm done by these actions won’t be “irreparable” and that we may collectively be able to improve the damage done. But what is certain is that the gutting of key positions will negatively impact Warren’s economic development.
The token salary cuts produced absolutely no reduction of the property tax rate but will in fact dramatically reduce the level of service available for new (and existing) business growth, thus reducing potential tax revenue. The result of this short-sighted maneuvering will only further exacerbate Warren’s revenue shortage. As I said at the Financial Town Meeting, this is penny-wise and pound-foolish but the penny saving was not even achieved!
While I strongly disagree with the wisdom of the actions taken at the meeting, I also recognize the legitimate frustration on the part of the taxpayers who are desperate for relief. What is truly concerning is not so much that a minority of taxpayers took an extreme stance but that an individual in a leadership position, whose job it is to act responsibly and understand consequences, not only condoned but in fact incited this behavior prior to the meeting. Warren can ill afford leadership that is willing to play political gamesmanship in lieu of making tough but smart decisions that are in the best long term interests of the town.
Brandt Heckert
26 State St.

5 Comments

  1. Stevie said:

    From the actions I saw at the FTM, to this letter, it certainly sounds and looks like someone will be filing his declaration of candidacy papers soon. Do we really need someone who has the towns tree’s and only one street in Warren’s best interest in mind, over the children and the taxpayers ?

  2. silvar12 said:

    Mr Heckert, your concern about an “individual in a leadership position” that you feel incited the behavior at the financial meeting is not true. There were two individuals in a leadership position that assisted the concerned and irate taxpayers. The person you refer to is the only one that had the nerve to vote how she felt and committed to prior to the FTM. My guess is the other person, that you fail to mention, felt he had to vote differently than he stated to the same group of taxpayers. You should do more research before you make a campaign speech. By the way, you can call yourself a Democrat but you will never truly be a Democrat. You do not believe in the Democrat Party philosophy but you feel you can ride their coattails to win the election.

  3. ted said:

    Looks like the Tea Party wing of Warrens’ not so inclusive Democrat Party has it in for Brandt. It’s a good thing. The comment section here is case and point re vocal minority, which is even smaller if you take into account the sudonym’s.

  4. CM said:

    The question is, why DIDN’T the cuts in those positions result in a reduced property tax?

    Brandt Heckert is a nice guy, but he believes in high taxes to support generous government services. The residents of this town aren’t rich, and they can’t afford to pay large increases in the property tax every year.

    • Transplant said:

      Because the savings realized was only $58,000 or something like that. The tax savings was 2 cents per thousand.

      Woohoo.

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