Specifically, what will this override money be used for?
I would like to know also. In addition, how can I determine about how much a passed override will cost me personally?
I know it’s a ‘joke’ to many (or their solution is just sell/leave) but some of us have to calculate if the UGE increase in SS will cover all the projected increases in costs to live here!
From what it sounded like at recent BOA and "listening" meetings, Infurna was still working with her cracker ace team (not) at City Hall to come up with the max amount that they think they can get away with soaking us with and how they're going to package it to be most marketable, especially to the gullible young parents whom they're targeting as their prime messengers. GI is no doubt taking her leads from RD and McAndrew who did this the last time, even if they're not officially constructing it now. They've got a slick "moderator" type running the preconstructed "listening sessions" and trying a bit harder not to be as obviously opaque with the facts and offensively aggressive as they were last time. They're still calling on the same cast of brownnosers to create their Melrose Alternate Facts (MAF being sold by MEF--kinda catchy, doncha think?), so that we can all run shaking in our collective boots about the "crisis" they are once again manufacturing so that they can keep paying proven failed administrators like Taymore more than the $180,000 she's already getting. We're supposed to believe that these snake-oil sellers are any more trustworthy than they were the last time they tried to frighten us, even though they claim a crisis virtually every single year. Go back through all the mayor's state of the city speeches if you can find them, and it's always a handwringing fear-mongering crisis, Every Single Year. And Melrose voters are supposed to be dumber this year than we were two (3?) years ago. Well maybe that's true, if there are enough new gullible parents to buy the BS, but the rest of us need to remember that most of the cast of characters is the same, with only a few new faces doing the shilling, and they're just as much brownnosers as their predecessors. In fact the new ones on BOA and SC are in some ways worse because they don't have any institutional memory and are passing off the BS Melrose Alternate Facts with even more vigor and fake PC self-righteousness to guilt/shame anyone who dares question them. Prediction: It's only going to get worse once they present their fully-formed concocted crisis with its savior pricetag.
We're baaaaaack! FYI - Wakefield just passed their new rates. A total increase of 2.1%.
Yeah, massive SS increase of 2.8%. Better than nothing I guess.
Points well taken.
It appears that the well-meaning but naive young parents who've now bought into Melrose really don't understand any of the bigger issues or the history. This is particularly evident in voices like the newest BOA and SC members, who are either willfully ignorant or just didn't bother to do the work to get to the truth, or worse, they are craven pols who couldn't care less. They blather the same superficial talking points that their colleagues around them, for the most part (one remaining brave but still somewhat uninformed exception) have been hammering for more than a decade, filled with the "Melrose Alternate Facts" (I like that one!) that have become the PTO and Ed Foundation mantras, sadly.
Many of these young parents are well educated and very hard-working individuals, holding multiple jobs and trying the best to pay for their enormous mortgages with the expectation that their nice granite kitchen counters and manicured yards are complemented with a highly functioning school system. Others of these young parents are trying to make a go of it, barely hanging on, having been given their homes by hard-working parents who wanted their children and grand-children to have the fine community they spent their lives trying to build; they don't actually have the financial ability to do much because they are only moderately well educated, with jobs that don't pay enough for the expensive cars they drive or the costly home maintenance or ridiculous water bills. But they want to be in Melrose, and they want their kids to get a good education, and many just need to believe that's actually happening despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary. They don't have the funds to transfer their kids to parochial or private schools, which makes for a real problem when it becomes obvious (takes a long time for many of these parents) that their kids aren't doing well enough in school even to get into a decent state college if they stay in the MPS. Many become quite worked up and defensive about the school system because they know their families don't have any other choices and they need to feel good about the trap they're stuck in. So many of these parents become almost fanatical in their zeal to promote anything the administration claims, while also refusing to do any critical thinking of their own.
There isn't a civilized resident here who would want our community's children not to have an excellent school system. Unfortunately those who are pushing for another override vote, and paying for a special election to boot (! when these same types sat still and let a new mayor be forced on us for two years without a vote, claiming that a special election was too costly, etc.), are preying on our collective good intent and trying to cause a lot of fear about what the lack of an override will mean. This is the same dirty tactic they've used every single year during every single budget season for a decade and a half, and it's getting old! Sure, costs have risen, sure, blah, blah, blah.
But this is also the same administration that never ever came clean about massive legal expenses or insurance settlements or the massively dirty efforts to conceal all kinds of wrongdoing committed by school officials and the mayor, with the full compliance of the aldermen. This is the same administration that continues to commit wrong-doing via the city's Enterprise funds and the obscene water and sewer rates. This is the same administration that is willing to stomp on citizens' rights in knowing what our tax dollars are paying for, keeping as much of the truth hidden as it can get away with, relying on the collective fatigue of our few "freedom fighters" willing to take them on directly with public records requests, going all the way to the state (and winning most times!) over and over again to get the records that belong to us as citizens. This is the same administration that blithely promotes all sorts of falsehoods in our televised public meetings (and in those they make sure NOT to televise--like the ones they fast-tracked and kept off the radar about things like the revised city charter, which maintained their status quo and even gave them more unchecked power). There is just no reason whatsoever that Melrose taxpayers should believe our elected officials, with a couple of exceptions.
I agree with a previous poster that until a full forensic audit performed by a new and truly vetted agency not connected to local pols is done, and until the wrongs currently being committed (water and sewer, Enterprise funds, schools, special ed, retirement board, etc.) are accounted for and corrected, NO on any Override!
No override. There are enough boodoggles being run now that if eliminated would provide substantially more funding for all city departments.
Right now there are approximately 450 city retirees. You can't count teachers - they have their own state pension system. Of that number, only about 25% are retired police officers and firefighters. Most of the rest are retired part-time employees who worked the minimum of 10 years in order to qualify. Now, their pensions are quite small given the way they're calculated, but I wouldn't be averse to making the minimum service time 20 instead of 10 years.
The real budget buster is their permanent full health care, which amounts to about $18,000 per person yearly, or about $6,000,000 per year. Desperately needed is some plan that does NOT provide for full health care until you reach the age when eligible for a maximum pension. There should be a chart similar to a retirement chart that raises the percentage of your healthcare eligibility by a small amount each year after the minimum service requirement for retirement is reached, what ever that may be, until a person reaches the point where he/she qualifies for a maximum pension.
Now, on to water and sewer..........
Absolutely correct on all points. It is especially galling to know that characters like AlwaysGrabaPlateWhetherPaidForOrNot Morty is "retired," getting still a yearly alderman's pay, a pension for life and health insurance for himself and his family for the few hours of quackery he "performs" every week, including invoking the Statue of Liberty and any other overblown metaphor he throws into his pretentious and often boorish diatribes. And then when questioned about real issues like absurd water rates that are literally the grocery funds for a family, he has the unmitigated gall to tell residents to join/shower at the Y to lower their water costs! He and so many others like him have soaked this city for everything they can get out of it, and then they continually pat themselves on the back for their great efforts. Too bad we can't just invent some imaginary positions and a few parades for them to pomp and circumstance around continuously and leave the city budget and management to actually competent and honest officials. Maybe if there's some large plates of free food and lapel buttons, these pompous jerks would go for it!
Come clean, Illegitimate Gail. When are you asking for an Override?
Forensic audit before EVER doing an override. Follow the money. Is the key to ending this budget shell game.
The Override money will be all for the schools. “One Melrose” is an Oxymoron. The name of the Override Initiative, One Melrose is a PR Marketing ploy to cover up what the real objective.
The listening sessions are just a ploy to figure out how to position the override so that it will pass this time. In my opinion, the information the Mayor's office pushes our regarding the override is pure propaganda. I'm disgusted as usual by those running our fine City.
Well, one thing now appears to be clear.
Infurna said “Each year the Board of Aldermen allocates to the School Department anywhere from $600,000 to $800,000, because there’s a funding gap there, so if we can get the schools sustainable through an override, then that frees up the money for other city departments to do what they need to do. If the override does not pass, we still have to give the schools a big pot of money, because they do need to meet net spending [requirements], as well as other things. Then that will, if you want to call it ‘deprive,’ the other city departments of things, and that’s where we’ll have to manage our budget and we’ll have to decrease some services, make some drastic decreases in services. We need to get the schools sustainable so we can free up money to help other city departments.”
Forget about any public safety building(s), and anyone who thinks that the "$600,000 to $800,000" allocated to the School Department will go anywhere near public safety, or anywhere else, for that matter, needs to quit drinking koolaid. Is this not the same story we heard last time?
I still say it's a spending problem not a budget problem. The thing is, we will never truly know where all the money is going because of the budget does not clearly tell the public how money is being spent. We get to see the big picture, but not the detail and that's where it all gets murky.
Everyone see this political stunt by Zwirko to hold a special forum inviting people to "ask him anything"? Isn't that the expectation of every person elected, to be available for questions? Trying to gain points by doing the most basic part of his job and patting himself on the back with a self-submitted press release about it. I am not in town that week (yes, I will be voting absentee) but someone PLEASE go and make this guy answer for his support of the override. He is already out there pushing for it again after being all in on the failed vote 3 years ago. Why? Why did he not learn from his past mistake when the people he claims to represent were decisive in their rejection?
He is putting on a show. That all.
Transparency is required and major budget adjustments are necessary. Gail can disprove the opinion that she is an Illegitimate Mayor by ordering a Forensic Audit.
The current Mayoral debacle was rushed and the voters had no say. We do not need GI leading the way on any Override push.
Melrose city government that haven't changed as much as some would like to think.
Unfortunately, you are correct. The process was followed. The screwed up charter language should have been changed by the review committee, but no one ever though such a scenario would ever arise, so they missed it, as did everyone else.
Also unfortunately, the Mayor is a lightweight. She takes her cues from the former mayor, whose entire organization remains in place. Hopefully in the next election, a quality candidate will come forth who is willing to really go after the boondoggles like full health care and retirement after 10 years for part-timers and the current water and sewer disgrace.
The dollar you don't squander is worth exactly the same as any other dollar.
Honestly if the override was on the ballot for next fall election I might consider a Yes vote. I do not understand why we have to spend needless money on a special election! We have the modulars in place. We can wait a few more months. I agree we need to do something but would have preferred the opinions of those running for Mayor. This override seems to be rushed.
Vote No on this override. The secretaries received a two year contract and if the override passes the union will give them another year.
Lessons from recent override campaigns. Proposition 2 & 1/2 limits on property-tax increases.
One Size Doesn't Fit All
NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act)
Vote NO on the override