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Globe Local Taxes

Today’s Boston Sunday Globe has an article on page 3 of GLOBE LOCAL. It lists numerous tax hikes voters supported in many places. The amounts of what was requested and how much it costs for ratepayers should be compared to what the Illegitimate One and her band of thieves just proposed. Voting No on $ which can be “managed” by any of the current city hall staff and the Aldermen who always vote as they are told. PDR and Vanny are desperately seeking other jobs but we are probably stuck with them.

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Good if Vanny and PDR go, the sooner the better and may the door hit these swamp creatures hard in their shameful golden parachutes as they leave. Word is that the city's elections commissioner just bolted for Everett. Good. She was hostile and full of herself, always playing politics when she was supposed to be completely free of that.

How many conflicts of interest and broken ethics laws are involved potentially? Vanny is an E alderman, and the Everett connections permeate everything in Melrose government. Now there's even an Everett teacher on school committee.

Where are the checks and balances? Why doesn't anyone ever investigate all the obvious wrongdoing that has gone on at City Hall the past decade and a half? Oh yeah, that's right, the "investigator" would have to be Vanny, whose slick alliances with PDR, RD, CT, have meant that he was always and only a total yes man, fully willing to say or write anything in support of his bosses regardless of whether it was actually lawful. And we all can see plainly as day what straight shooters PDR, RD, CT, JS, and the whole sick crew are! All in bed with the same slick stories, always.

Good for that Katy Kennedy who wrote a great letter in the paper this week. There are plenty of us who live here who can see what's in front of us, and what has been actively concealed. And good on Monica for challenging PDR and the whole rafter of slimeballs who are keeping the unpretty truths under wraps. Trouble is that the slime just keeps oozing out, no matter how hard the slimeballs try to hide it!

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Sweep Out Melrose Swamp
Good if Vanny and PDR go, the sooner the better and may the door hit these swamp creatures hard in their shameful golden parachutes as they leave. Word is that the city's elections commissioner just bolted for Everett. Good. She was hostile and full of herself, always playing politics when she was supposed to be completely free of that.

How many conflicts of interest and broken ethics laws are involved potentially? Vanny is an E alderman, and the Everett connections permeate everything in Melrose government. Now there's even an Everett teacher on school committee.

Where are the checks and balances? Why doesn't anyone ever investigate all the obvious wrongdoing that has gone on at City Hall the past decade and a half? Oh yeah, that's right, the "investigator" would have to be Vanny, whose slick alliances with PDR, RD, CT, have meant that he was always and only a total yes man, fully willing to say or write anything in support of his bosses regardless of whether it was actually lawful. And we all can see plainly as day what straight shooters PDR, RD, CT, JS, and the whole sick crew are! All in bed with the same slick stories, always.

Good for that Katy Kennedy who wrote a great letter in the paper this week. There are plenty of us who live here who can see what's in front of us, and what has been actively concealed. And good on Monica for challenging PDR and the whole rafter of slimeballs who are keeping the unpretty truths under wraps. Trouble is that the slime just keeps oozing out, no matter how hard the slimeballs try to hide it!

Katy Kennedy’s letter was excellent! Thank you Katy

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The Kennedy lady’s letter was well written. Her words spelled out how divisions will only get worse unless the pols and residents look at the long term picture as a whole. Parts make up the whole and equals ONE. The schools are only one part.

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The fact that you don't like the rule that made her mayor doesn't make her in any way illegitimate.

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Come on, man
The fact that you don't like the rule that made her mayor doesn't make her in any way illegitimate.
Actually, the rule isn't the problem. It's the corrupt pols who make their deals behind the scenes (and in clear violation of the law) to set up all their votes and talking points, including those that were lined up for the mayoral position. It was a cooked deal, and anyone who doesn't understand or refuses to accept this about Melrose pols is either very naive or very dumb or both.

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The rule is a problem in that it created a wide-open door for abuse to occur, but the real problem is the continued willingness of politicians - even inept ones - to just saunter on through it. There is a complete lack of ethical boundaries.

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Yes, Fossil, you are absolutely correct. Beyond having no ethical standards or boundaries, there is a complete absence of meaningful checks and balances now in our city governance.

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so what you are saying is that the aldermen should have refused to do their job and not put a mayor in place as was required of them? Dolan left this city at a strategically chosen time so as to not give the voters the choice. The alderman just did what they were required to do and chose someone to take over.

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Don't put words in my mouth. That's not what I said at all.

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Fossil
Don't put words in my mouth. That's not what I said at all.
Then what are you trying to say? Just trying to fecklessly pi$$ and moan? Just looking for any reason to stand against something?

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Since you don't seem to be getting it, I'll spell it out for you.

1. The description of Infurna as the "illegitimate mayor" is factually inaccurate.

2. Her elevation was made possible by a flawed charter provision no one realized would be problematic.

3. Knowing this, "Dolan left this city at a strategically chosen time so as to not give the voters the
choice."

4. The jockeying that then took place to be the BofA President was totally distasteful.

5. The aldermen then did what they were required to do by the flawed charter and chose someone to take
over.

6. Maintaining we have a revenue problem and not a spending problem is untrue. We most certainly do have a
spending problem, in addition to a revenue problem. Full-time health care for life packages after 10
years of employment, for the most part cashed in on by part-time employees, that ridiculous learning
common, the modular classrooms, or the totally egregious water and sewer rates are all example of how,
and how much, money is being wasted.

7. Override proponents were not truthful the last time, and they are not being truthful now. The tactic is
a little different, but the deceptiveness is the same.

If that sounds like feckless pi$$ing and moaning to you I could care less. I don't need to go looking for a reason to be against an override. The reasons are right there in front of my face, and yours.

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Mayor Infurna refuses to even discuss the issue of the mob of current and part-timers getting full-time health care for life. And what was one of the very first things she did after taking office? Try to have her pension modified to being based on her salary as Mayor. That should tell you all you need to know about where her loyalties lie and what her priorities are.

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Illegitimate mayor also claimed during the pre-voting (BOA) process that making her mayor would have no impact from the retirement point of view because she claimed not to be applying for any added retirement benefits. What she failed to say is that she had indeed applied for this and was denied. So any pretense of virtue by her (caring about the city's fiscal well-being, etc.) was bogus because she had every intention of laying claim to heaps of extra cash in perpetuity (retirement) if she could have gotten it.

The entire process was false and flawed, and the BOA botched it. Furthermore they had every ability to get approval for a special election (like they've done for much less important matters when they WANTED it). They were all jockeying and manipulating, and the public is the big loser (and based on the public's pathetic refusal to hold its officials accountable, it deserves this mess).

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Fossil
Since you don't seem to be getting it, I'll spell it out for you.

1. The description of Infurna as the "illegitimate mayor" is factually inaccurate.

2. Her elevation was made possible by a flawed charter provision no one realized would be problematic.

3. Knowing this, "Dolan left this city at a strategically chosen time so as to not give the voters the
choice."

4. The jockeying that then took place to be the BofA President was totally distasteful.

5. The aldermen then did what they were required to do by the flawed charter and chose someone to take
over.

6. Maintaining we have a revenue problem and not a spending problem is untrue. We most certainly do have a
spending problem, in addition to a revenue problem. Full-time health care for life packages after 10
years of employment, for the most part cashed in on by part-time employees, that ridiculous learning
common, the modular classrooms, or the totally egregious water and sewer rates are all example of how,
and how much, money is being wasted.

7. Override proponents were not truthful the last time, and they are not being truthful now. The tactic is
a little different, but the deceptiveness is the same.

If that sounds like feckless pi$$ing and moaning to you I could care less. I don't need to go looking for a reason to be against an override. The reasons are right there in front of my face, and yours.
It is "couldn't care less". "Could care less" means you care. Dumb dumb

Secondly, do you have any stats/amounts as to how much this health insurance costs annually? Betting it isn't even a dent in the 5.19 million needed and requested by the override. You are just using pennies that you feel is "wasted" to deny many many dollars that is needed in the schools. Give me some stats or get off your high horse. Dumb dumb

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Hey "Blep":

Sure, you're correct about "couldn't care less," but your ignorance and arrogance scream out from your silly post. "Fossil" actually lists legitimate issues and facts, while you snidely name-call and behave like a boor. Shame on you!

The administration lied last time and this time in their attempts to bilk taxpayers in their end-run around Prop. 2.5. The actual costs of health care are as obfuscated as the rest of the actual budget needs, a tactic that has only gotten worse since CKK left the school committee in 2016 (she chaired Finance and Facilities and gave the public every iota of information she could glean that wasn't directly concealed even from her as an elected official expected to oversee and vote on the matters!). As could be seen in last week's paper, the officials continue to illegally withhold requested information from Alderman Medeiros (and PRR gets away with name-calling her while her colleagues sit there like the shills and spineless wonders they are instead of standing up to call out that unacceptable conduct!).

Saying that "Fossil" is one seeking to "to deny many many dollars that is needed in the schools" demonstrates your foolish arrogance. Fossil seems to be in synch with many of us who would never want to deny the community's children what is truly needed, but rather wants actual accountability and fiscal responsibility from our city officials. This whole override attempt is headed exactly as the last one, dividing the community and using Alternate Facts as the hammer and wedges.

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Uh oh. I offended a grammar Nazi. Oh, the horror.

As to the important point - "part-time city workers who will receive a life pension with 10 years service, and currently receive full-time health insurance at $18,000 a year, which also extends into retirement." Not including teachers, who have their own retirement system, "right now we have 350 retirees; there are 450 lined up for retirement. Only 25 percent are former and current police and fire personnel. A majority of all of these city workers are part-time employees getting full-time benefits now and in retirement. Mayor Gail Infurna refuses to publicly disclose these budget-busting numbers." (Free Press)

So, 800 employees/retirees minus 25% police & fire leaves 600. A majority of those are part-timers, and for argument's sake let's go with the smallest possible majority, or 301. That 301 cost the city $5,418,000.00 per year in health care costs.

Does that sound like pennies to you? Seems to me that would put a pretty good dent in that 5.14 million override. I would suggest to you that before you run your mouth, you educate yourself.

Re: Globe Local Taxes

Excuse me - 5.19 million.

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Correct. $5,480,000 of waste a year, just in health care cost. Now add in things like the learning common and the modular classrooms, not to mention all the legal fees and settlements incurred defending the administration's inexcusable, and sometime illegal behavior. And the override isn't just $5.19 million. It's $5.19 million a year, forever. Pennies????

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Fossil
Uh oh. I offended a grammar Nazi. Oh, the horror.

As to the important point - "part-time city workers who will receive a life pension with 10 years service, and currently receive full-time health insurance at $18,000 a year, which also extends into retirement." Not including teachers, who have their own retirement system, "right now we have 350 retirees; there are 450 lined up for retirement. Only 25 percent are former and current police and fire personnel. A majority of all of these city workers are part-time employees getting full-time benefits now and in retirement. Mayor Gail Infurna refuses to publicly disclose these budget-busting numbers." (Free Press)

So, 800 employees/retirees minus 25% police & fire leaves 600. A majority of those are part-timers, and for argument's sake let's go with the smallest possible majority, or 301. That 301 cost the city $5,418,000.00 per year in health care costs.

Does that sound like pennies to you? Seems to me that would put a pretty good dent in that 5.14 million override. I would suggest to you that before you run your mouth, you educate yourself.
You can obviously see that the current number is 350 retirees. 450 are "lined up". Obviously there will not be 800 all at once since retirees die. So take roughly 60 percent off your 5.4 million number.

Also, you stupid pile of crap, the city is REQUIRED by the state to pay these benefits. So what do you propose is the solution? Can't imagine you have one since you justuse this as a bugaboo to explain why you think our children don't deserve even decently funded schooling in the future.

Also, it's not a grammar Nazi problem, not like misusing they're and their. It literally affects the meaning of the sentence to mean the exact opposite. It should be an obvious problem unless you have zero reading comprehension. Which may be the case considering how badly you mangled the retiree numbers. Dumb dumb

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And the above post, dear friends, nicely exposes the mindset and character of many of the schools only override proponents. This Blep character just totally exposed his/her true self. You are disgusting, and if I was on the fence about the override, I'm not now. If you're the kind of vicious, nasty individual supporting it, I'll surely be voting no.

Just to be clear, the poster Fossil never, not once, said he/she was against properly funding the schools. What he/she is saying is that he/she believes that until there is some accountability and until efforts are made to eliminate the obvious waste, that an override is just throwing more good money after bad. In some prior post, someone said that every dollar of waste saved counts just as much as every dollar of new revenue. If the city were willing to eliminate that waste, an override wouldn't be needed. It's entirely valid to question exactly why the city refuses to do it.

Here's another truth - it's far better to be thought a vicious, nasty a$$hole than to open your foul mouth and confirm it, as you have. You've cost yourself at least one vote because of your nasty tirade. Nice job.

Re: Globe Local Taxes

Wow
And the above post, dear friends, nicely exposes the mindset and character of many of the schools only override proponents. This Blep character just totally exposed his/her true self. You are disgusting, and if I was on the fence about the override, I'm not now. If you're the kind of vicious, nasty individual supporting it, I'll surely be voting no.

Just to be clear, the poster Fossil never, not once, said he/she was against properly funding the schools. What he/she is saying is that he/she believes that until there is some accountability and until efforts are made to eliminate the obvious waste, that an override is just throwing more good money after bad. In some prior post, someone said that every dollar of waste saved counts just as much as every dollar of new revenue. If the city were willing to eliminate that waste, an override wouldn't be needed. It's entirely valid to question exactly why the city refuses to do it.

Here's another truth - it's far better to be thought a vicious, nasty a$$hole than to open your foul mouth and confirm it, as you have. You've cost yourself at least one vote because of your nasty tirade. Nice job.
Definitely believe that you were on the fence.

How do you feel about the nasty things said about all forms of public officials on this board? Don't see you saying anything about those. It's only nasty when it is directed at the posters on this fine board, I guess

Also, since you only care about decorum and not actual facts, you may not have noticed where I said the retiree health insurance is required by the state. Therefote, it isn't "waste". So I untactfully (deeply sorry) pointed out that Fossil was full of it with his "waste" excuse. Don't really care about that though, do you?

Re: Globe Local Taxes

Make that two no votes.

Pension liability refers to the amount of money that a private company or a city, state, or federal government has to account for in order to make future pension payments. What it's not—and this is an important distinction—is the total amount that gets paid in future pensions.

A pension liability will only occur in defined benefit schemes. These are the old-fashioned traditional pensions where workers and their employers agree to contribute a certain amount into the pension fund over time for a guaranteed source of retirement income, as is the circumstance in Melrose. My understanding is that at this time, Melrose is in pretty good shape pension-wise, but that could change at any time if the stock market tanks again. So right now, pensions are not the big problem, especially when you consider that pensions are based on both age at retirement and years of service. The pension for a part timer who retires after 10 years is almost statistically insignificant.

The real budget buster is health care, especially in Melrose. As for health care, there is just no rational way someone who works for just 10 years, especially if only part time, should EVER be able to collect full health care for life. That is exactly the kind of waste that needs to be eliminated. If the city is required by the state to pay that benefit, then change the law. The law has already been changed once recently to remove any retiree who is Medicare eligible for any reason from city health plans and force them to enroll in Medicare. The reason for hiring part timers is to reduce your financial exposure, not increase it. In Melrose, unfortunately, part time jobs were and still are a way to build a political power base on the backs of taxpayers.

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Ahhh...Waka, Waka, Waka! I'm b-a-a-c-k! New name, same guy.

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Well that explains a lot, if true. VuVu - the same ignorant, obnoxious school shill as ever. Your old lady letting you use the computer again, huh?

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Hey VuVU, or Blep, or whoever the hell you are, where's your proof that the city is required by law to pay that health care? What's the Chapter and Section? Or do you just type whatever nonsense comes into your head to try to defend your case?

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Agreed
The real budget buster is health care, especially in Melrose. As for health care, there is just no rational way someone who works for just 10 years, especially if only part time, should EVER be able to collect full health care for life. That is exactly the kind of waste that needs to be eliminated. If the city is required by the state to pay that benefit, then change the law. The law has already been changed once recently to remove any retiree who is Medicare eligible for any reason from city health plans and force them to enroll in Medicare. The reason for hiring part timers is to reduce your financial exposure, not increase it. In Melrose, unfortunately, part time jobs were and still are a way to build a political power base on the backs of taxpayers.


That is accurate. Anyone who worked for the city, even for their whole career, and is in any way Medicare eligible - for example someone who was not even Medicare eligible based on their own record but whose spouse (or ex-spouse if married for 10 years) is Medicare eligible - was and is kicked off the city plan and forced by that law to enroll in Medicare and buy a supplemental plan to cover the gap, which effectively doubled their cost.

How do I know this? Because it happened to me. An ex-wife, who I haven't seen or spoken to for over twenty-five years, started collecting SS and enrolled in Medicare, and even though she has been remarried for all that time, as soon as she did that, I got a nice letter informing me that by law I was being kicked off the city plans and was forced onto Medicare. When my card came, the account number was her social security number followed by a "BR", indicating that status. I did not have enough SS quarters to qualify on my own because I worked for the city most of my life and didn't contribute to SS all that time. Pretty slick way to get people off the plan that they spent their whole lives earning, huh? And yet these part-timers were handed this bennie by that slug Dolan to solidify his base, and get his raise, all on the backs of taxpayers.

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What?
Hey VuVU, or Blep, or whoever the hell you are, where\'s your proof that the city is required by law to pay that health care? What\'s the Chapter and Section? Or do you just type whatever nonsense comes into your head to try to defend your case?
“All GIC eligible active employees, retired employees, survivors and their dependents, including all Retired Municipal Teachers and Elderly Governmental Retirees, must be offered GIC health insurance coverage.“

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/coverage-and-eligibility-for-municipal-group-insurance

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Well then, there's the way to prevent part-timers from collecting health care for life, without even having to change anything. Simply hire them for less than 18.75 hours a week and they would be ineligible.

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If they are in a position that requires 20, 30 hour per week of work, what then? Hire multiple people to fill the one position so you can prevent them from being benefits-eligible but then eat all of the payroll, training, HR, supervision, professional development and other associated costs that come with every employee regardless of number of hours worked? Seems like a flawed plan to me.

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Just to clarify - if you work 20 hours of a 40 hour week, you are eligible. If you work 18.75 hours of a 37.5 hour week, you are eligible. Any hours in excess of those means you are, by definition, not part time.

So if they work 19.75 of 40, or 18.5 of 37.5, they are not eligible. That's a difference of 15 minutes a week, hardly a big enough difference to require any new hires at all.

If you work 30 hours a week, you are considered full time.

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Can you even imagine the outrage on this board if the conversation were slightly shifted in focus and we were instead talking about the gall of a city bilking its workers out of benefits by lowering their work week by 15 minutes? The nerve! The sham! For shame!

Can't win.

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You mean as opposed to the city bilking it's taxpayers out of another $5,000,000.00 a year in an override?

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Agree with the override or not, it is by definition not bilking. If it passes, it will be approved by the voters. Modifying an employee's work week down by a quarter of an hour in order to avoid paying them benefits is in fact bilking and would not come close to filling the hole that this city is in financially.

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Oh, please. It's bilking if it's based on a pack of lies. If you don't like the fact that part time workers don't get a full time life long benefit, find another job.

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Oh, please. It's legitimate if it's approved by the voters. If you don't like the fact that the city's voters passed an override, find another city.

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Fortunately, the city's voters haven't done that. They didn't buy it the last time, and hopefully they won't buy it this time either. I, for one, do not understand why you cling to this specious tax and spend mentality. It has never worked in the past, and it won't work now. You can't tax your way out of bad management. The first step in responsible fiscal management is to eliminate waste, not increase taxes.

If it passes this time, I might just find another city. I'm sure I'll have no trouble finding someone stupid enough and deluded enough to pay me $900K for a $650K house.

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Wait till you see the tax rates in most of the other towns around here.

And since when is honoring commitments to employees considered "waste"? What's your proposal? Screw them out of the benefits that they were promised in exchange for their work?

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Forensic audit before EVER doing an override. Follow the money. Is the key to ending this budget shell game.