The success or failure of the override will not be decided by the historical and traditional Melrose voter blocks. Historically Melrose has had 3 distinct groups on the “no” side. There is the hard and fast group opposed to any and all tax increases or additional spending in the City, led by the old version of the Melrose Tax Payers Alliance IE: the Sue Kelleher, Arnie Koch crowd. Then you had the anti public school crowd with guys like Bob Snow in the old days and more recently the Melrose Messages group and lastly you had the folks who may have voted yes at one time but because they are getting older or their kids are in the high school or graduated and they don’t see how it benefits them. On the traditional yes side you had the stalwart Melrose Democratic City Committee/League of Woman Voters crowd, The hard core Dolan supporters, and the parents of elementary school children. Over the past 20 years the votes have split 2 to 1 in favor of the override…with all six of these groups, all well known to each other, battling back and forth to the end. My guess is if this vote happened on 2005 it would have failed. However, there is a new demographic in Melrose that will control the vote this year. It’s the 2,000+ new families that have moved into Melrose since 2008, that don’t know Sue Kelleher and Bob Snow from a hole in the wall and wouldn’t know where to find a League of woman voters or democratic city committee meeting with a road map. They never heard of the tot lot, Jim Milano, the pasta club and had nothing to do with the override in 2003 and middle school debt exclusion a few months later. These families can be found at the various coffee shops, Melrose Y, local parks, munchkin soccer fields and day cares and were out in full force on Halloween in downtown Melrose. They will decide the vote this year…if they actually show up and vote. The old politics of Melrose will have little or no impact on this election as the blocks continue to vote down their tried and true lines, essentially splitting the vote. The new blood in Melrose will be the tie breaker, and if you see a lot of young people at the ballot box early in the morning or late at night the override will pass.
The general mood in the country is anti-politics...throw the bums out....outsiders not incumbants...all the rules of politics have changed....how this will influence the Melrose results is anyone's guess....
Dream on folks and do all this "deep thinking" - the result will be the same - the override fails - just too many people who know what's going on in the city with our students and the management of the schools - and it ain't pretty!
MFD is clearly in the anti Melrose public school crowd, pretending to be one the sons of Bob Snow, reborn on the blog in the era of social media...but more likely just part of the anti tax crowd...using the schools as his excuse For every MFD I'll give you a MBMM. As stated earlier...the opinions of old Melrose will not matter tomorrow. Look to the voting line. If you see a bunch of young Moms and Dads get your checkbooks out.
All I know is that this is going to be extremely close. No way it's a blow out for either side. Yes vote wins because of all the new families moving into Melrose. Less and less seniors in this city every year. Melrose is slowly becoming a young professional, family oriented city. And I say this as someone who is voting no.
Melrose has always been a family oriented city.
An affordable family oriented city.
That characteristic is being eroded. Quickly. I hope the economy doesn't fail because those wannabe new Melrose types will regret it if the override passes and jobs become scare.
The new folks forget why they moved here. They could afford it.Now they're working hard to make it so others can't.
The sad part of all of this is if taxes continue and water bills continue to rise in Melrose we will not be able to retire here :(
These newbie yuppie phonies pride themselves on their "diversity" and "inclusiveness" when they are anything but. There are qualifiers to their supposed openness - the elderly and those on fixed incomes need not apply, since they're a burden. Know what? The hell with them. When we've all left they'll have their perfect little Stepford City, and we all know how that will turn out. F*** 'em. I don't even care anymore. I can't wait to see this whole house of cards come tumbling down. I only hope I don't laugh myself to death when it happens.
They didn't decide the vote. Stepford phoniness lost. Big.
Too bad. So sad. Their self-righteous power grab was checked.
Am I gloating? Yes. Because I know they would be too except instead of acknowledging it, they would be hiding behind a veil of sanctimonious correctness. You know it & I know it.
Sometimes the world works as it should.
Wow, you are really off your rockers over here. Having a good chuckle. This was a loss for YFM, for sure but anyone who thinks that this means that this is the end of the horrific New Melrose folks (All those soccer moms, and coffee shop goers and people spending and investing $$ here, the NERVE!!) is really naive. Cities and towns change over time-This is life. Show me a town that is exactly as it was 30 years ago in Massachusetts--no really, SHOW me! Furthermore, with all of the venom over here that is spewed in the direction of the mayor, it begs the question, why don't one of YOU run for mayor?
Just knowing that Dolan and Taymore are ripping mad puts a big-a$$ smile on my face. Too bad Driscoll made the cut. Guess you can't have it all. Oh you'll like this. They had an assembly on racism for the middle and high school. BIG uproar at the HS one. Students yelling. Way out of control. Maybe it's because it should be held for Taymore, Driscoll and those complicit in the cover-up not the students. Got a little egg on your face Cyndy.
It was short-sighted for Melrose to vote against the override. That money was necessary for so many things in the schools and the city. Now there is no way the city can afford to do what's right by the students and the police will continue to have problems with overtime. The mayor and the superintendent made their case for why the money is necessary. I know people want to keep money in their own pockets, but funding the city and the schools is necessary.
The school budget is stretched so thin now that some teachers will need to be laid off to pay the increase in salaries required under the teacher's contract. Margaret Driscoll said a new contract is going to be negotiated for next year. We already can't pay the teachers enough to keep all the great teachers here. Now, our great teachers will go elsewhere because they can make tens of thousands more dollars in other districts and there is no prospect for making more money here.
How can the schools improve without more money? Everything costs more and more money every year. If the schools don't get more money they can't get better and will get worse because the contracts need to be funded and there will be less money available for textbooks and computers and teacher training.
Have you read/learned nothing here? The same tired and naïve pre-vote arguments.
There are so many school systems doing more with less these days. Even the wealthier towns have had to make some difficult decisions. Many of these places are thoughtful and creative about how they do more with less. I teach in one of the wealthiest towns in the state, and even they are dealing with cutbacks. In the thirty years I have taught there, I have never seen tightening of the belt like this. Our MEFish organization (though far more on the up-and-up, and run solely through donations (without taking money from the town) has seen a large drop in funding over the past few years. Guess what? There were meetings and discussions in each building, where the staff and administration thoughtfully made choices about what needed to be funded, and what we could do without. There are some "special" experiences for students that have fallen by the wayside, but the basic educational needs remain firmly intact. People work together to manage the tight budget. It is not something they are used to doing, but we do it. Melrose seems unable to even entertain the thought of being creative with the resources they have. The administration needs to show the community that they can manage what they have before they get more money to squander. It is quite simple: Show us some changes, some results, some accountability, and maybe we will show you the money. Unfortunately, based on what I see and hear, this is unlikely.
I have a question for you. What is the opinion generally of your colleagues in that community of the Melrose schools? Would any of them be willing to work here, even if the pay scale was comparable? What is their opinion of the super and the administration?
The pro override group start off in the hole if you consider the 500 plus families that send their children outside of the system.
The override went down in flames because the turnout among parents of school age and pre-school age children was non-existent. With 8,235 total voters this was the lowest override/debt exclusion voter turnout in Melrose History. Very clearly the parents were not buying what the school department was selling. This defeat is on the school department for their current leadership and their vision for what Melrose schools need. MHS should have been front and center on the agenda with a clear message as to how the administration is going to hire and retain top teachers in STEM, and put a principal in place that has the ability to change the current culture in the school. Had the parents wanted to vote in favor of this override it would have passed, but many stayed home or voted "no" because hiring aids, coaches, administrators and music and art teachers is not going fix the titanic on the Fellsway. Instead of blaming the voters of Melrose I hope the school department takes a good hard look at its own responsibility here...and for the record, I voted Yes under the premise that more money for the schools is better than less, even though I didn't necessarily agree with the focus of the $$$ being spent.
Dolan - "The city is going to have to go in a radically different direction,” Dolan said. “The statement that is made is there’s going to be considerably less spending on schools, considerably less spending on employees and employee contracts, less spending on infrastructure, less investment and more maintenance. And that’s what they want.”
What on earth is the man talking about? What did the override have to do with contracts, infrastructure, investment or maintenance? Zero - unless you now plan to rob Peter to pay Paul and keep dumping money into the bottomless pit that is the schools.
Dolan - “I think it’s now the duty of the members of the Board of Aldermen who have been elected, who either kept quiet on the issue or did not support the proposal, to come up with proposals of their own to address this problem,” Dolan said. “I’m going to need assistance in order to move forward. That’s going to be on them."
On them? There's some real leadership for you.
Dolan - "This city needed this desperately,” Dolan said. “Every once in a while, a city needs to be shaken up. I shook it up.”
That's the plan? Take credit for it? The only thing you shook up, Mr. Mayor, was people's faith in your ability to lead.
Dolan is wrong. In voting no, the only statement I made was that I didn't believe the unaccountable extra positions in the schools were warranted nor the two police would have any impact on overtime. I didn't say I wanted any less investment in infrastructure, less spending on schools, less spending on employee contracts, etc.
Now he claims he can't operate the city without the override money. If true, it proves he lied about the true purposes of the override. The only thing "on them" is that we won't waste money on extra unaccountable positions in the schools and two police officers.
Running the city without the override money is on him entirely. He never told the voters he needed the money for the city to continue to operate. If Dolan doesn't care to manage the city responsibly without the override money, he should resign today instead of acting like a baby. The city doesn't need him if he only wants to blame others that he doesn't have a couple extra million dollars to make his job easy.
If Dolan were really interested in fixing the schools he would fire incompetent administrators, like the Super and the AD. Both of whom I never hear good things about. He would also stop insulting the teachers by only offering 1% raise. He forced GIC insurance on city employees, why hasn't that saved any money? What about all the apartments and traffic he forced on the city? How come no one has asked him about the bigger tax base that it was supposed to provide?