FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby ELLE on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:10 pm

Was does this man have to do with the high school? It's a sad story but I think the purpose for posting it HERE was just to incite more drama.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby dougsears on Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:05 am

Complex issue deserves Tewksbury's attention

The Lowell Sun Updated: 03/29/2012 07:00:01 AM EDT

Tewksbury residents are wrestling with the question of approving a $1.93 million debt exclusion to fund the construction of an athletic complex adjacent to the new high school, which is scheduled to be ready for the next school year.

The complex would include an artificial turf field and five tennis courts, and bleachers to accommodate up to 1,500 spectators. The proposal, which intitially included lighting that was subsequently withdrawn, again includes illumination, which means the field could be utilized at night for sporting events and other functions.

As might be expected in these tight economic times, we can see where residents may be wary about being saddled with another financial responsibility, along with the community's portion of the new high school.

Also, some residents in the immediate vicinity are concerned they would be surrendering their relative tranquility to the sounds of marching bands, cheering fans and Friday night lights.

And of course, there are other undercurrents.

Some abutters believe their concerns have been ignored by the private, nonprofit group behind this push, The Friends of the Tewksbury Community Athletic Complex, made up of many influential town residents.

When first proposed, this group -- led by Brian Dick, also a School Committee member -- intended the estimated $2 million cost of this facility would be generated by private donations.

That didn't happen. Citing the poor economy, The Friends have raised just $50,000. And as result, it seeks the community's help through a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion to complete the project.

The proponents point to the less-than- expected cost of the high school and the long-term benefit to the town's youth and high-school sports as a reason to proceed.

Those opposed can cite the added tax burden -- even if it's just for a specific amount of time -- and the added activity around the high school for a considerable slice of the year.

The Friends did make a sufficient case to the Board of Selectmen. Though not endorsing the proposal, it allowed this question to be decided at the April 14 town election and the subsequent May 7 Town Meeting if necessary.

The project also gained the support of the School Committee.

A few things should be put in perspective. Tewksbury is blessed with abundant open space for sports -- including the Livingston Street fields and the huge youth soccer complex at Sal Frasca Field off North Street.

It's also true that Tewksbury is virtually the only high school in the Merrimack Valley Conference that doesn't have an illuminated football field. And the majority of those other schools' fields are in close proximity to residential areas.

And while the current high-school construction does call for adjacent stands and a grass playing field, it would seat only 500 for a surface without an irrigation system.

But in the end, we believe this question -- Question 1 on the town election ballot -- should be decided on April 14 on its merits, not because the project has been altered or it may cause abutters some discomfort.

It's a question every town voter has a vested interest in, and they all should be motivated enough to make that known at the polls.

Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_20280740/co ... z1qVTGSiwX
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Chasnbos on Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:24 am

Athletic Complex Enhancements
Estimated Cost
1)Design and Project Management Cost
$ 90,000
2)Artificial Turf Athletic Field and Field Prep
$ 700,000
3)5 Tennis Courts complete with lighting
$ 375,000
Athletic Field Lighting
$ 235,000
Raised enhanced Seating for 1500 with press box and foundation
$ 525,000
Electronic Scoreboard, goal posts
$ 10,000
cost 1.935 M

As Planned/Budgeted *
Grass Athletic Field with no
irrigation
500 seat bleachers
6 lane/8 lane straight-away
synthetic track
Concession building and rest
rooms
Storage for equipment.

Cost as planned don't know



I'll vote for the field thats 700K thats only upgrade right now that will save money and makes sense. I can see the value of the field not the mega plex sport center.They can follow thru on their quest fund raise the rest.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby swamper on Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:15 am

Why don't they use the money they raised to improve/add to existing tennis courts which seems to be the only sport "lacking" with the original plan and call it a day. Vote NO on April 14th!
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NO AT BALLOT (if need be) SEPT. 21
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Harry on Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:06 pm

ELLE wrote:Was does this man have to do with the high school? It's a sad story but I think the purpose for posting it HERE was just to incite more drama.


Well....it's good to see Ma finish first at something....not very good of course...but hey...number 1 is number 1....
Everyone, repeat after me, We are number 1!...We are number 1!...

http://247wallst.com/2012/03/15/states- ... d-to-live/

Now...which City or Town has the number 1 ranking within the number one State!!
Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Tiny Dancer on Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:05 am

The purpose of the Senior Citizen article, IMO was to educate the people who are comfortable in their financial situations that there are ALOT of others who are struggling. $20 bucks here $20 bucks there, and it never seems to be just $20 by the way that $20 is alot for most people right now. If you can afford to donate to this wonderful field by all means do so, But don't expect others to pay just because you NEED a fancy field. I NEED to keep a roof over my children's heads, food, healthcare, .....and that is ALOT more important than a field.

Or perhaps we can all donate our $20s to the Fire Station that is closed half the year? I think that is ALOT more important than a field too.

I NEED an oil delivery would anyone like to donate to me? Last delivery was only $912. It will only cost you $20. LOL

Still a NO here.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby ELLE on Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:53 am

There is a fund for elderly tax relief. Based on the description there appears to be other programs in place to assist the elderly impoverished population.

http://www.tewksbury.net/Pages/Tewksbur ... essor/fund


Town of Tewksbury
1009 Main Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876
Citizens' Taxation Fund


In October of 2002 the Tewksbury Town Meeting established a special taxation fund to assist low income elderly/disabled persons aged 59 and over to meet their property tax obligations. The Fund is administered by a citizens committee made up of the Chairman of the Board of Assessors, the Town Treasurer and three residents appointed by the Board of Selectmen.

Applicants must have an income of $30,000 or less and assets of $30,000 or less and not be eligible for any other Town of Tewksbury exemption/deferral program. Documentation of age, income and assets will be required with each application. Amounts awarded are based on number of qualified applicants and the amount available in fund in a given fiscal year.

Applications should be filed between July 1st and March 31st. Applicants must be 59 by July 1st. Income information should be from the previous year and assets are based on July 1 amounts. At 65 applicants must first apply for a deferral. Should the applicant, for any reason, be denied a deferral they may revert to this fund. At the age of 70 or if widowed please inquire about over 70 or widow exemptions.

Applications are available at the Assessor’s Office, along with a list of all requirements or by clicking on the link below.

Download application for Citizens Tax Relief Fund

The staff at the Assessor’s Office can answer questions you may have regarding this or other town tax relief programs. You may contact this office by calling 978-640-4330 or stopping by the office located in the Town Hall Annex.



People wishing to contribute to the fund may do so by making checks payable to:

Town of Tewksbury Taxation Fund
Mail donations to:
Town of Tewksbury Collector’s Office
11 Town Hall Av
Tewksbury, MA 01876

Donations of any amount are appreciated. You may download a donation form by clicking on the link below.

download Citizens Tax Relief Fund donation form
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Tiny Dancer on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:30 pm

And for the rest of us? Who helps us out? The Disabled? The Single Parent? The Laid Off Parent? The Two Job Parents that just can't afford the rising costs of everything.

Still 2 No votes here and most of my neighbors are voting no too! We would like our fire station open more than a field.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby ELLE on Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:18 am

Tiny Dancer wrote:And for the rest of us? Who helps us out? The Disabled? The Single Parent? The Laid Off Parent? The Two Job Parents that just can't afford the rising costs of everything.

Still 2 No votes here and most of my neighbors are voting no too! We would like our fire station open more than a field.


The field is $20 per family per year for 10 years and then it goes away. How much for the fire station? I'm guessing these are not the same expenditures and that one can't be swapped for the other. So you are just saying "NO" but that won't give you something in exchange. I also understand that some time very soon the financing for the police station and library are rolling off our taxes. Maybe somebody that has the dates and amounts can post them.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby splice on Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:15 am

Show me $20/year for ten years for a fire station and I might say ok. Show me $20/year fot 10 years to rehab a school and I might say ok. You get the gist? But, $20/year that could be better spent than on an unnecessary item is not something I'd vote for at this time.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Little Willie on Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:18 am

Elle please except the fact some of us have different opinions and views than yourself.Just let the will of the people decide how this goes at the polls. Your arguments don't seem to be swaying anybody here. As for me and my opinion, 4 no votes from this household
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Tewksbury2001 on Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:10 am

Little Willie wrote:Elle please except the fact some of us have different opinions and views than yourself.Just let the will of the people decide how this goes at the polls. Your arguments don't seem to be swaying anybody here. As for me and my opinion, 4 no votes from this household


Elle has every right to express opinions just like you do. You are trying to convince others to vote no, why is that ok but not for Elle to promote a Yes vote? Yes votes in this house. I will vote YES for anything that improves the schools or public safety in this town.
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby Tiny Dancer on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:48 am

Yes we are all allowed to express our opinions, but if you think that our taxes are going to be reduced, You have been drinking the Koolaid too long as previously stated by another poster. Our town services are being reduced at an alarming rate. $20 barely puts food on my table, or gas in my car, or does not even begin to cover the medication for a family member. Where am I supposed to get an extra $20? Some people just don't get it. Most of us are struggling, I have neighbors who are losing their homes. This fancy field is just going to put more of us out of our homes quicker.

Vote yes if you would like, that is your right but there are Still 2 no votes here. I live within my means, How about Tewksbury as a town do the same?
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby swamper on Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:51 pm

quote: "I live within my means, How about Tewksbury as a town do the same?"

Well said, and I dare say our upcoming generation would be better served by their parents in learning THIS lesson rather than thinking they're entitled to a fancier athletic complex or that nothing is ever good enough! Oh, the hardship of it all! :roll:
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Re: FOTCAC: "Important Mailing" from a "friend"

Postby cowboyup on Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:00 am

I agree that this is a place for all opinions to be expressed. Here's mine. My head shakes over a lack of hard evidence supporting the $20/year claim. I challenge any of FOTCAC to post documents which prove this to be so-please. Aside from Brian Dick and Paul Hibner, I wouldn't know to whom I should pose questions since the site lists no particular members of the group. Their presentation docs are also filled with gaps. Info on corporate sponsors, private sponsors and grant submission all say "coming soon". When would that be?

I read a lot of the data cited on their power points (tried to attach the docs listed/read but pdf's not allowed here-access them through links on the FOTCAC presentations if interested). The conclusion of the study from Dr. Barnhill was that there were differences in injuries between the field types but "further investigation was warranted". Also noted was a possible conflict of interest on the part of the authors (the doctors). The vast references the study cites are mostly from the late 70's and 80's. The 10 year cost analysis done by FieldTurf cited much of the same research and could reflect conflict of interest. I read, "Research into the long-term effects of FieldTurf on injuries during actual game conditions over several seasons of competition has not been published in the scientific literature." If there is current data regarding safety where is it? On another point, the "Similar Supporting Data" slide of FOTCAC's presentation uses 2001 dollars to show costs. How am I supposed to use that to figure out 2012 costs?

Here's my point: Why should I support a group who presents me with data that is either inconclusive, outdated or skewed by conflict of interest? Lots of other data is also missing. If there really is solid current data, then it should be posted by this group. Where is it?

Most importantly, to me at least, is this: how is it possible for someone to believe that THIS will improve our schools in the way that is most needed? The recent school improvement presentations done at the SC meeting by principals from the Ryan and Wynn cast a glaring light on how we are failing our students esp. in math. At the Ryan, 49% and 45% (Gr. 5 and 6, respectively) of regular ed. students are below proficient in math. For Ryan SPED students, 95% and 91% (Gr. 5, 6) were below proficient! The Wynn is worse. In Math, 48% and 50% of reg. ed students (Gr. 7 and 8, respectively) are below proficient. 94% and 100% of Gr. 7 and 8 of Wynn SPED students are below proficient in math, and 80% of Gr. 8 low income students are also below proficient. I am both mortified and disgusted by this data and can't believe there has not been a public outcry about it.

Finally, to say this vote is separate from our academic situation is ludicrous. Many of the FOTCAC folks (not just their president) are connected with school and other town efforts/committees. To think they (or other residents) would put their time and effort behind an override for a "better" football stadium vs. an override directed at necessary resources to help our neediest students get the education they are entitled to is what I would call finishing wrong, NOT finishing strong. Just my opinion....
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