Prop. 2 1/2 override

Discussions about the the ridiculous tax evaluations alot of homes received during this recession. (Great timing). Also, any discussions about taxes at all.

Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby KMA on Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:06 pm

Yesterdays voting gave a clear message on how we feel our school dollars are spent.
To all that turned out in favor or dis-favor of the ballot questions; "at least you went out & did something".
Maybe the defeat of the $1.6m school over-ride will be a blessing and get more people to the polls when it really counts.. BOS elections.

Some people are blaming the seniors for the Mall vote, blaming seniors for yesterdays
defeat; are seniors to blame for reducing the commercial/industrial tax rates?? Are seniors to blame for Tewksburys hotel district on Rt. 133? the Verizon totem pole?? the water tank?? Cressmans $7,000 annual annuity?? Excessive over-time at the DPW??
Stop whining & start thinking!!

Property values going down because of the over-ride is a bunch of crap. Property values have been down for over a year now.

Uncontrolled growth in Tewksbury over the past 8-10 years has done more to negatively impact our home values & over extend our public school system than yesterdays vote.

No: was my vote yesterday, on both ballots.
No; I am not a senior, but I truly respect their needs & their right to vote.
Yes, I have kids in and out of the school system.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby Omniview on Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:07 am

Amen duffyhouse.

consolidation = cost savings

How come time tested cost savings techniques work everywhere else on the planet but not here in Tootsie, Massachusetts?

Omni.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby nana8 on Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:11 am

And again duffyhouse, the only way is to start NOW to put ALL these people OUT!!! Planning Board, Selectmen, and the rest of the JOKER'S that totally run this town........If we could manage to put honest and unbiased people in, things would start to turn around for the better. I know that you have been knocking your head up against a stonewall but it is doable! Between Quinn and McGrath we will get nowhere fast if we do not rid ourselves of them.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby rujoun1 on Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:24 am

Just received a message from a well known realtor in town. A prospective buyer in Tewksbury has changed their mind because of the school situation. It will definately affect out housing values. Well, then I suppose if our values are lower so will our taxes be!!!! [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby swamper on Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:52 am

quote:


"Planning Board, Selectmen, and the rest of the JOKER'S that totally run this town......."


IMO...we NOW HAVE a GOOD, working, cohesive Planning Board for once. Gone are the likes of Sean Sullivan, Fowler no longer has the power/control as in the past....David Gay is eager, willing, involved, and learning from "the best"...and the rest of the board are good, honest people. Let's not forget... Vinnie Spada stood up to the DeMoulas Warehouse expansion, Nancy Reed and Dave Plunkett spearheaded the CPA initiative, and personally speaking I think Nancy is doing an AWESOME job as Chair this year! A more THOROUGH, well researched, knowledgeable, and on the ball individual you'd be hard pressed to find. It's the BOS AND CRESSMAN (who make no mistake pulls the strings on many occasions) who lie at the ROOT of the problem.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby Rabib on Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:14 am

I have a question about Special Elections, would it be possible to have a special election to either cut/eliminate elected official salaries/benefits? Or would that have be an item at the annual town meeting?
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby cozmo on Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:51 am

Its sad to see how the seniors have been bashed by some on the defeat of the overide. I spoke to 2 people on my own street with school age kids who did not even vote. I respect all the people who took the time to vote whichever way they voted, but If people did not come out too vote on a key issue like the overide can we really expect them to do any different in a regular election?
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby sean_czarniecki on Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:25 am

Rabib,

The quick answer is it has to be done at Town Meeting. The long answer is that there is a LOT more to it than that. If you read the article I posted about N. Andover, you'll see that there is a state law involved which would require petitioning the legislature to remove the town from the requirements.

As for stipends, I can tell you that most people running for office aren't looking for that stipend to support them. HOWEVER, it is a lot of work during what would otherwise be free time and often a thankless job. Stipends should still be included with the job or there would be even less people considering doing that work. The size of that stipend is certainly something to discuss, but in the big scheme of things, the long-term benefits are bigger players than the stipends.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby C-Legs on Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:42 am

"Yesterdays voting gave a clear message on how we feel our school dollars are spent."

I was waiting to see how long it would take for someone to make that statement. Since when is a such a narrow victory a "clear message" on anything? Yes, a decision was made and must be followed, but to call it "a clear message" is to ignore the fact that almost half of all voters demonstrated a different set of priorities.

Now it is time to stop looking back and to start looking forward to where we go from here. It would be easy to hold anger (especially since I witnessed several seniors leaving the polling place saying that they didn't even know what that vote was all about, so they voted it down!) But instead I now see it as a lesson...we need to reach out to all groups within the town so that if they are voting down our ideas, at least they are doing it from an informed position. An uninformed voter is worse than someone who does not vote at all!!!
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby borntorundave on Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:50 am

As a new homeowner to Tewksbury I am also extremely disappointed with the voter turnout for this important issue to the town. I personally know close to a dozen residents, both with and without young kids, who didn't even know this vote was going on. I think a lot of it comes down to political apathy in my age range (I am 32).

Generally speaking I vote against overrides but I felt that this was defined well enough to merit a Yes vote. I agree with all similiar points previously mentioned (house valuations, etc) but the real anger should be aimed at the people abstaining. As someone planning on raising children in this town, I can't afford private school and I have lived in towns that have let their school systems deteriorate. I would hate it to see this town go down the same road.

I would love to see the town try a 'do-over' with this override but we reap what we sow.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby dougsears on Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:30 pm

Override too much for local wallets Tewksbury residents say they couldn't afford hike in taxes

By ALEXANDRA MAYER-HOHDAHL, Sun Staff



TEWKSBURY -- As school officials and members of the U-25 advocacy group lamented the rejection of a $1.8 million override for the school system on Saturday, many noted that their campaign for the measure could not be blamed for the bleak outcome.

Instead, the impact of the national economy on the pocketbooks of Tewksbury residents may be the main culprit, some said.

"The price of gas, the price of food, the price of just day-to-day living is difficult for a lot of people," James Cutelis, one of U-25's leaders, said. "They agree that (extra money for the schools) is a much-needed service, but they can't afford it."

The override was a largely grass-roots effort led by U-25, which is seeking to reduce Tewksbury class sizes to fewer than 25 students.

During Saturday's special election, 15 teenagers for instance converged on the house of U-25 member Brenda Regan to make more than 1,000 phone calls to residents, reminding them to cast their ballots.

"The parents that initiated this ... couldn't have done a better job. It's obviously an issue that people have very strong opinions about," School Committee Chairman Keith Rauseo noted. "They lived and breathed this thing for the last four months."

Some officials and residents argued that a comparable commitment was lacking from school leaders until the end of the override campaign.

"I would certainly hope that in the future, the School Committee would be much more vocal and much more demanding to get a fair budget," Cutelis said.

But Rauseo rejected the idea that his committee joined the effort late in the game, arguing that they could not be as outspoken because of their roles as elected officials.

"We pretty much started saying right away that we would have a pretty different-looking school system. ... But as elected officials, you lose a little bit of your freedom of speech. You have to do things in a different way and work within a process," Rauseo said. "We supplemented U-25 with very detailed facts. I don't think that we could have made more noise in the way that we are elected to do."

School officials said they were encouraged by the support that the second measure on Saturday's ballot received, a $650,000 debt exclusion for the high school that may have turned out to be more palatable than the override.

The debt exclusion will cost homeowners no more than $8 over the lifespan of the debt. The measure, which passed by a 2,528-to-2,346 vote, will pay for the replacement of outdated furniture and computers at the high school.

"Computers and furniture are really things that had to be addressed, both in terms of quality and their numbers," Rauseo said. "It will improve things."

An override, meanwhile, would have permanently raised property taxes above the limit set by Proposition 2 1/2. The $1.8 million measure, which was designed to balance the School Department's budget and fund the hiring of 20 new teachers, would have cost an average homeowner an extra $161 in fiscal year 2007 and more than $200 by fiscal year 2016.

Those supporting the override said the tax increase is worth a better education for Tewksbury's children. But other residents, especially those on fixed incomes, said at the polls that they simply could not stomach higher taxes.

U-25 will nevertheless re-evaluate all of its options, including another override attempt, Cutelis said, especially because of the close vote on the measure and the large turnout on Saturday.

"I think that it clearly shows the number of people who want to remedy (the schools' problems). The parent and grandparent community voted in force for this," he said.

The group "may also have to look at going back to Town Meeting," Cutelis said. Before backing the override, U-25 had first proposed to hire new teachers by forcing a "modest" $565,000 cut from the library, Department of Public Works and Recreation Department budgets during Town Meeting.

Cutelis said on Saturday that he did not regret switching tactics and going with the override in the end.

"We tried to work in harmony with the town," he said.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby cjsmom on Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:37 pm

I think U25 and the parents who support them were bamboozled. Should have gone the "bloodbath on town meeting floor" route, at least we had the numbers there. The Bored knew this override had a slim chance of passing (though I'll bet they're sweating over the close margin).

I'm just disgusted with this town. The apathy, the stupidity, are incredible.

I think the ultimate answer is to change the form of government. We need a mayor -- someone where the buck stops at his or her desk. This town is way too big to be run by the current crop of bozos.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby C-Legs on Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:54 pm

When will the local press wake up and get the story straight? The Sun today said "The debt exclusion will cost homeowners no more than $8 over the lifespan of the debt." WRONG...if I'm not mistaken, that was the amount for the first year and it would decrease annually until the loan was paid off.

The Advocate ran a story about the upcoming special election and their focus was on the money, but they had the numbers wrong too. The Crier never even ran their story. How are citizens supposed to make informed decisions when they cannot rely on the press to give them accurate and timely information? Did it affect the outcome of the election? We'll never know.
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby tigerchief on Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:10 pm

"U-25 will nevertheless re-evaluate all of its options, including another override attempt, Cutelis said, especially because of the close vote on the measure and the large turnout on Saturday.

"I think that it clearly shows the number of people who want to remedy (the schools' problems). The parent and grandparent community voted in force for this," he said.


huh, when is a 25% voter turnout considered a "large turnout" and "in force"????

Only in Tewksbury!!!......fuggetaboutit, APATHY still reigns in Tewksbury....Lexington's override question drew 52% to the polls!!!!!
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Prop. 2 1/2 override

Postby borntorundave on Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:14 pm

C-Legs, I agree that the coverage in the press could have been better, but I know at least ten adults in Tewskbury that didn't even know a vote of this significance was taking place. The proposals (whether correctly or covered inaccurately is a different animal) were in the press and I think it's a shame if you're a citizen in a town and you don't care about this. Apathy is the biggest problem here - but there are smatterings of blame to go around.
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