A Way to Invest – by Aidan Moran
It seems that every year as we approach budget season, people keep comparing our town and education budgets to those of corporations. I would like to point out that when these comparisons are made, there’s far too much focus on the cost or overhead side of the equation, and not enough discussion given to the future investment side. There is hardly a corporation in the land that does not have a sales and marketing team to promote the goods and services that the company has to offer. Taken at face value, these sales and marketing departments are simply an expense, but very nearly every company has one, as they’re seen as an integral factor in growing and developing the business. If corporations just focused on costs, they would never dream of building a new factory, or start a new advertising campaign. Instead they look beyond the immediate overhead with a view forward, understanding that they have to invest in their future, otherwise they will perish.
Yet year after year we pass budgets in Clinton that barely cover costs. Meanwhile our neighboring towns have taken the longterm, corporate view and are investing in their future. They easily and routinely pass budgets, on both the town end education side, of several percentage points each year, allowing them to make investments and improvements. They have full-time town planners, and well-funded economic development committees designed to attract businesses, which in turn reduce the tax burden on homeowners. Clinton, on the other hand, is under constant pressure from a certain faction that such expenses cannot be funded.
Let’s stop regarding our town and education budgets simply as overhead, and start seeing them as corporations do, as a means to provide necessary services and a way to invest in our future.