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Featured letter: No bonds for ticks

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Deer feeding at a 4-poster stand.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Deer feeding at a 4-poster stand.

To the Editor:
The proposal to issue bonds to pay for the 4-poster program to “eradicate” ticks is fiscally irresponsible.

As the editorial in the Reporter (“Our View,” May 8) correctly points out, the purpose of bonds is to fund major capital projects with a long-term lifespan, which can be amortized over 15-20 years. Bonds should not used to pay for continuing expenses in order to make the current budget more palatable.

This is a slippery slope. Should we bond our unfunded liabilities for employee benefits? Perhaps we should bond the salaries of the Town Board for the next five years. Ridiculous? Of course. But no more so than bonding the 4-poster program.

Furthermore, the concept of “eradicating” the ticks is itself a delusion. With our current deer population, the best we can expect is to reduce or contain the ticks. “Eradicate?” I doubt it.

Whatever one’s position is on the 4-poster, I think we can agree that it can be effective only if there is a substantial reduction in the deer herd. Otherwise we are just treading water, and the cost of the 4-poster program will continue to increase. I guess if the increase is significant enough, we can always issue more bonds.

Isn’t it time that our government at every level — federal, state and local — started to live within its means? Isn’t it time that we stopped hiding budget deficiencies with gimmicks or by turning current expenses into long-term debt and passing them on to the next generation?
Shelter Island