Tax Increase

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

Tax Increase

Postby cozmo on Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:17 pm

In Todays Globe Northwest section:

Input On Open Space:
After sharing views last week in a brainstorming session on what to do about open space and recreation in Town, residents can expect to receive a questionnaire on the subject in January according to Town Manager David Cressman. Residents will be asked how satisfied they are with the Town's recreation facilities, including sports fields. They will also be asked whether they would approve of a tax increase or override to rebuild, expand, or rehabilitate exsisting facilities.
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Postby DOGTIRED on Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:25 pm

I don't think I understand this anymore. The high school is falling apart and needs replacing and Cressman wants an override to fix up ball fields? Is everybody in charge in Tewksbury going crazy?
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Postby redbarchetta69 on Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:01 pm

No it's just priorties are screwed up. Outside of Doucette, the fields are in good shape. You could probably include a new/renovated football field with the high school replacement. You could replace the bleachers and add FieldTurf. But other than that the rec fields are good.
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Postby moretpani on Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:53 pm

Mayor David Cohen is insisting the new Newton North High School project is affordable and will go forward
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/12/06/mayor_school_will_be_built/


Yet, our Schmucks insist of completing the sewer project, senior center and spiff up the ball fields. Oh my God.. What did we do to deserve this?
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Postby swamper on Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:15 pm

Before anyone goes ballistic here, which would be realized if anyone beyond the usuals had bothered to actually attend this open space public resident visioning session held
(and I feel well-publicized) last week...this plan is in conjunction with the Community Preservation Committee's and community goal to further develop and update our Town's Open Space and Recreation Plan which already exists, much like our Master Plan. It is not geared solely toward athletic fields etc. which are but one component of many re. open space.

From the informational materials:

"Developing an update Open Space and Recreation Plan provides the Town with an opportunity to maintain and enhance the open spaces that are critical to preserving the character of the community. Planning this "green infrastructure" of water resources, farms, forests, wildlife habitats, parks, recreation areas, trails, and greenways is important to the economic future of the community. A well thought out plan contributes to the quality of life, thereby increasing the desirability of the town as a place to live, work or visit.
Completion of the updated Open Space and Recreation Plan will help guide the town's future decision-making relative to the protection of natural resources and the implementation of recreational projects that best meet the needs of the residents. A DCS-approved Plan will make the town eligible to receive Division of Conservation Services GRANT MONIES. The Plan must be updated every five years in order to maintain the town's eligibility to receive these funds."

In addition, re. the resident survey referenced in the newspaper:

"There are several ways in which interested citizens can participate in the development of the Plan. A written survey has been prepared and will be distributed to households with the Annual Town Census (and hopefully will be returned along with that). In addition, a copy of the survey can be found on the town's website:
http://www.tewksbury.info/dcd/Community%20Preservation/Index.html

The information gathered from this survey will be utilized to assist the town in formulating the plan's goals and objectives.
The town's Community Preservation Committee will meet periodically throughout the plan developing process. These meetings are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and are posted at the Town Clerk's office. (as well as this very website [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] )

An additional Public Meeting will be then held in late Spring to receive comments from the resident public relative to the plan's recommendations. This meeting will be advertised on the Town's website, in the Town Crier, and the Lowell Sun."


In conclusion, it's JUST A SURVEY...this is a GOOD thing for our Town to be doing... planning and otherwise. [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
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Postby redbarchetta69 on Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:16 pm

Ironic that people in Newton consider a $154 million dollar high school affordable. Yet ours will cost half as much and people are already whining it's "too expensive", "another money pit", and "will drive people on fixed-incomes out of town".

But back to the topic at hand. Our schools are crumbling. Our roads are crumbling. Yet we decide we need pretty ballfields, to buy every open space we can get, a nice enlarge senior center, and sewers galore. Our priorities are out of whack. If we're going to raise taxes, we can at least spend it on something useful.
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Postby swamper on Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:37 pm

As I said, one has nothing to do with the other in this instance...it is a separate issue. The Community Preservation Act was ALREADY approved by town vote at the ballot of which this is a PLANNING component of. Feel free to come to a mtg. sometime to become more educated.
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Postby Harry on Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:41 pm

Let's maintain perspective....shall we.....

Do you know the average price of a house in Newton? Much higher than Tewksbury.

The median income in Newton would blow away the median income of Tewksbury.

This is a working class town.

We are facing a 17 million dollar deficit regarding the sewer project. And there will be more red ink before that debacle is done.

I believe we are facing a structural 8-10 million dollar town deficit by 2009 and more projected deficits beyond.

We are facing an unknown bill for the Roccos Landfill clean up. Don't know the number but I'll bet it will be 2/3 million when all is said and done.

Let's see how this ~27 million dollar debt plays out before we go out and try out a new credit card shall we......
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Postby moretpani on Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:05 pm

Harry,

I am not talking $$ here, nor am I trying to equate Newton’s budget with Tewksbury’s. I am talking about PRIORITES. The stupid Morons of this town think the Sewers, the Senior Centers are more important then the school system.
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Postby Harry on Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:13 pm

Point taken...
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Postby redbarchetta69 on Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:07 pm

Also consider that Newton is three times the size of Tewksbury in terms of population. So big that it has to have not one but two high schools. Newton North enrolls over 2,000 students, compared to 1,200 (and falling) for TMHS, so it needs more space and consequently more money for a rebuild. Even with their extra money Newton has, the project is still controversial. Also consider we need an new hs worse than they do.

Priorities are key, something the town has been lacking for years.
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Postby U8Coach on Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:18 am

I beg to differ Red, this town clearly has the ability to put it's full weight behind projects and initiatives. When they decide that a new HS is priority #1 we can relax with the knowledge that regardless of cost overruns or lack of funding we will move forward and finish the project.

You say the town does not have priorities but what you mean is that the town does not have the same priorities that you and many of the citizens do.

The priorities of the town are very segregated, but when we are looking at absorbing $17 million in additional funds to finish the sewer project, did anybody stop to think that if the citizens are going to take that big of a hit we should step back and look at the larger picture?

For $17 million we can build a new central fire station and refurbish the high school with $10 million to spare. Hell, we could probably even fix the roads. Dare to dream my fellow taxpayers.

Is it fair that we got ours (sewer tie-in) and they will not get theirs? Of course not. But we are not being asked for the $17 million, we are being held hostage by our plumbing connections.

If anybody who is on private septic (waiting for the next phase) wants to chime in, I would love to hear any thoughtful opinion from those who stand to lose the most if the project is halted.

IF the citizens are going to spend $17 million dollars (which is not tax deductible BTW) would you be willing to forgo the sewerage project in favor of other pressing needs in the town?
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Postby spider12 on Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:21 am

This is a pretty interesting site to compare different town in Mass: www.massstats.com
There's income, open space, politics, education, crime. Some things seem not to be so current (per pupil expenditures have 2002 and 2003), but it's still an interesting site. Some items contain 2006 data.
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Postby sean_czarniecki on Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:25 pm

U8Coach -

I think you might need to put some qualification on the $17M not being tax deductible. It all depends on the method selected to cover the cost. For most of the options (e.g., raise in sewer fees), you are correct. However, if they settled on taking a chance with a debt exemption, it would then keep sewer fees a *little* lower, but would be tax deductible.

The worst part of this is the timing. I don't know when decisions have to be made about a debt exemption for a new high school, but it sounds like it may happen pretty fast....and the sour taste in people's mouth from this overrun in the sewer project could be a problem when approval time comes.
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Postby redbarchetta69 on Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:10 am

Our problem is we don't have generous people like Curt Schilling living in our town. Everyone here is too selfish.

Schillings pitch in for home's teams
Medfield complex to be named for Shonda after couple leads fund drive
By Calvin Hennick, Globe Correspondent | December 6, 2007

When Shonda Schilling, wife of Red Sox star pitcher Curt Schilling, saw the Medfield High School softball field four years ago, the first thing she noticed was the grass growing on the infield.

Unlike baseball fields, softball infields are supposed to be turf-free.

"The first time I walked on that field - 'appalled' is probably the wrong word, but it was pretty bad," Shonda Schilling said.

Now, thanks to a donation last month of more than $150,000 by Curt Schilling and additional fund-raising efforts by the couple, the softball field and adjacent baseball field will be revamped in time for the start of the season in the spring.

The donation was a surprise 40th birthday present for Shonda Schilling, but the gift took on a new dimension when she found out her husband had arranged for the complex to be named in her honor.

"I just want the fields built, and it's cool that they'll have my name on them," she said in an interview last week.

A youth softball coach, she said it will be a little weird to guide her team on fields that bear her name.

"It's almost embarrassing," she said. "I'm sure I'll be ragged for it."

Although the Schillings say they want to make a permanent home in Medfield, their future in the area wasn't certain when Curt Schilling made the donation. Youth baseball officials say they had a check in hand during the World Series, before Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Red Sox for next season.

Schilling has said he left "money on the table" by staying with the team, but Shonda Schilling said the couple considered their four school-age children when making a decision.

"We've made them move their whole lives, and now they don't want to move," she said. Before joining the Red Sox, Curt Schilling pitched for teams in Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, and Arizona. "When there are tears involved, it makes you alter your plans."

Although the couple still plans on selling their 27-acre, gated Medfield estate, Curt Schilling said he hopes to build the family's "final home" in a local neighborhood where his children will be able to interact with other kids their age.

"I'd like to be able to live in a home that didn't have a gate and a security system," he said. "Right now, it is a necessity."

Schilling said he wants to retire in a place where he and his family are treated as neighbors, not celebrities.

"I don't want to downplay what baseball has given us," Schilling said. "The recognition we've gotten from baseball has allowed us to do a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to do. But I want my kids to be able to grow up on their own.

"The longer we're in Medfield, the more a part of the community we become," Schilling added. "It's gotten to the point where I think the people in Medfield are very comfortable with us."

"This is like Mayberry right here," Shonda Schilling said. "There's a sense of community."

The school district's superintendent, Robert Maguire, said the family has been "terrific."

"I've heard nothing but nice things," Maguire said. "They've stepped up in all kinds of different capacities, from large to small."

Maguire added that he tries to give the Schillings their space. "They should have the opportunity to be regular parents and not have people bothering them all the time," he said.

Maguire, like other school officials, was tightlipped about the exact amount of Schilling's donation to the fields project, but he said it was "unprecedented in terms of generosity."

Curt Schilling said he was uncomfortable talking about the figure, but confirmed that it was more than $150,000.

"Without this donation, we wouldn't be starting" work on the project, said Jeff Tapley, president of Medfield Youth Baseball/Softball.

The project will include the installation of irrigation and drainage systems, as well as dugouts and scoreboards. The infields will be completely rebuilt, said Medfield athletic director Jon Kirby.

In addition to the donation, the Schillings helped to orchestrate a gift from Needham Bank, which has agreed to match donations up to a total of $50,000.

The couple also helped raise about $37,000 with a fund-raiser last week at the high school, where they screened a DVD of highlights from Boston's journey to the World Series title this fall.

"You are stuck with the Schillings," Shonda Schilling told the approximately 1,000 people in attendance Friday night.

"We have dreamt all our lives of this phase of our career," Curt Schilling told the crowd.

"When you see us around town, it's a lot more enjoyable to us if you skip the 'Oh my God, it's Curt Schilling' and go straight to 'How are you doing? How are the kids?'

"This town has given us that," he said. "There was nowhere else for us to be this final season. This is home for us."
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