Melrose Cares: Open Community Dialogue




Click here to report offensive or inappropriate posts.



Schools & School Committee
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
View Entire Thread
Re: 5,18 million reason why

Checks and Balances, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

https://www.schooldigger.com/go/MA/city/Melrose/search.aspx

This one compares to surrounding regions

http://melrose.wickedlocal.com/news/20160831/study-melrose-schools-have-most-improved-test-scores-in-region

That one is after the 2015 override failed yet we had most improved MCAS scores.

https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ma/melrose/schools

I like this one because it talks about if you are looking at schools when you are looking for move.. the ratio is interesting.

Maybe the alderman have better sources and such but I have read both sides and I have ask my questions with ZERO answers. Seems to be the going trend..people ask but get ZERO... Once again if you have something to say besides the money makes our kids succeed I am all ears but every year its the same speeches with the same rhetoric and absolute lack of information.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

People on social security or disability? What about them?

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Now its your turn for 5.18 million reasons why...

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Forgive me... please add something... your more than welcome to provide anything other than insults, but then again people like you find courage behind words typed on a computer. It’s a forum you can add things or provide information against or for. But obviously your a moron because you can only insult. The beat part of it all, your cowardice. You afraid to present a fact or maybe more afraid to accept the facts?

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Principal
Checks and Balances, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Should your sentence read more dumb instead of dumber? Just like the last over ride people on the yes were so nasty, rude and disrespectful.

Yet the people voting no decided it was best to ignore their ignorant insults and moronic disregard for people’s rights to free thought and free speech. God help us is right!

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Can’t wait for this override to go down in flames.....again. We’re a middle-class community, if you want a grade A school system go to an affluent community.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

It is what it is.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Ice
It is what it is.
No It’s Not
It’s 5.8 million reasons to find the truth about the lies,corruption,milipuation,fuzzymath.
Just remember the residents voted them in and we can vote them out.
Oh Yeah to the newbies in town You were Sold A lie!

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Melrose taxpayers pay OVERRIDE increases every year via their water and sewer bills. One of the many reasons the Schools Only Override will go up in flames, is the shenanigans Dolan and his feckless band of men and women implemened (including Illegitimate Gail) regarding water charges. Many taxpayers consider their yearly water bill increase an Override charge. Because of these outrageous bills, many residents can’t afford an Override for anything else. Residents do not trust Melrose politicians and City Hall staff whose track record on fiscal transparency speaks for itself. Monica was the only one who questioned the games and was treated with disrespect and ignored. Taxpayers kept and will keep MM in office.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

"Monica was the only one who questioned the games and was treated with disrespect and ignored. Taxpayers kept and will keep MM in office."

Absolutely true.

The rest of the sheeple sitting in that chamber sat there complicit when their hired CFO openly insulted Ms. Medeiros, calling her "ignorant," among other things, when she dared to insist that he provide data that she had requested months earlier. HE should have been fired on the spot for such unprofessional and unethical conduct! Every single one of the other BOA members should have been held to task for allowing such open bullying and flagrant unprofessionalism from the city's chief financial officer. Where were the hypocrites from MAAV? Answer: they couldn't have cared less, as per usual, because they are part and parcel of this hypocritical and corrupt administration! This is the typical conduct of both boards when anyone dares to question their fake constructs, their unsupportable data, their flimsy rationales for decisions that affect every taxpayer and resident.

Well, note to Melrose officials (if you're reading, and we know you are!): there may be a lot of really gullible and/or craven residents, but there are more of us who are actually paying attention and will not approve your latest scheme. And we will most certainly continue to vote in the ONLY elected official currently who can be counted on to represent us honestly and earnestly, Monica Medeiros.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Wow. That's awful. Do you have a link to the BOA meeting at which that happened...and any idea how far in?

Re: 5,18 million reason why

found it:
https://vimeo.com/148648101
BOA Dec 10, 2015

some stuff surrounding that time:

where transparency dies
Dec 13, 2015 - 7:25PM
Re: Aldermen Meeting

http://www.mmtv3.org/index.php?categoryid=28

Check at 1 hour and thirty five minutes into the meeting where the our CFO, Pat Dello Russo "respectfully disagrees" with Alderman Monica Medeiros that he should present orders to the alderman with a brief summary of what the order is for when presented to the alderman and posted for the general public so that there will be some basic understanding of what the request for additional money is all about. Of course, the Mayor's hand selected CFO respectfully disagreed and believes that the information in the orders is more than adequate for the public and the board to make a decision. Really Pat???.

From: PATRICK DELLO RUSSO Melrose, MA 02176 Chief Financial Officer

To: Mayor Robert Dolan From: Patrick Dello Russo Meeting Date: December 10, 2015 Subject: Available Free Cash $1,292,665.29 Order #: ORDER-2016-60
An Appropriation of $1,292,665.29 From Available Free Cash to Various Accounts as set forth within
FINANCIAL IMPACT:An Appropriation of $1,292,665.29 From Available Free Cash to Various Accounts as set forth within
12/07/15 19054-490000 · School Other Funding Sources $640,000.00
12/07/15 16204-490000 · School , Medicaid Fund, Transfer In $300,000.00
12/07/15 019313-551058 · Cap Outlay Pine Banks Ballfield #2 $65,662.78
12/07/15 84014-490000 · Stabilization Trust Fund $50,000.00
12/07/15 84074-490000 · OPEB Trust Fund $50,000.00
12/07/15 84064-490000 · Suits & Claims Stabilization fund $50,000.00
12/07/15 019313-551044 · Cap Outlay Pine Banks Ballfield #1 $50,000.00
12/07/15 013012-547300 · Essex North Shore Agricultural $15,943.55
12/07/15 014022-527700 · Municipal building repair $14,500.00
12/07/15 011552-591015 · IT Prior Year $14,500.00
12/07/15 011352-529000 · Auditr Exp Professional Services $9,750.00
12/07/15 011512-591015 · City Solicitor Prior Year Bills $6,901.00
12/07/15 012112-527305 · Pol Exp Radio Systems Upgrade $6,545.16
12/07/15 011622-525102 · Elec Exp Accuvote Maintenance $4,700.00
12/07/15 011612-529000 · Ctyclk Exp Professional Services $4,000.00
12/07/15 011611-513000 · Ctyclk Sal Overtime $3,500.00
12/07/15 016932-591015 · Memorial Hall Prior year bills $3,012.80
3.8
Packet Pg. 61
Order 2016-60 Meeting of December 10, 2015
Updated: 12/2/2015 1:10 PM by Kerriann Golden Page 2
12/07/15 011622-529000 · Elec Exp Professional Services $2,700.00
12/07/15 012112-535500 · Pol Exp Uniforms $950.00
12/07/15 01-324001 · Available Free Cash ($1,292,665.29)

So Pat; this is enough information to understand what these funds are for? Really??[:-?]
Transparency be ****ed
Dec 13, 2015 - 9:26PM
Re: Aldermen Meeting

Check 1 hour 46 minutes into the meeting if you really want to see the sparks fly.[:-|]
MFD
Dec 13, 2015 - 10:36PM
Re: Aldermen Meeting

That blow-up which occurred at 1:46 of the BOA meeting last week was actually the 2nd time that Della Russo had a sarcastic answer to a statement made by Ms. Medeiros. His disgraceful retort to Ms. Medeiros at 1:46 should earn him a reprimand - his comments to Ms. Medeiros were totally out-of-line for someone in his position. He could have used another approach which would have neutralized her negative comment about him.


disgusted
Dec 14, 2015 - 1:14PM
Re: Aldermen Meeting

PdR is an obsequious slimebag. He oozes unctuousness and sanctimonious discharge. Ms. M was fully justified to say that it was dishonest to portray the numbers the way they were portrayed and to fail to produce full disclosure the many times she respectfully asked both during the budget cycle and since then. For PdR to say he found her "ignorant" and "disgusting" should be cause for immediate dismissal, as he was grossly insubordinate and disrespectful to his direct superior, and on tv to boot. Furthermore, all those on the BOA who sat by and allowed this should be sanctioned as well. It was totally predictable that Morty would be the a$$hat that he always is, but it was inexcusable for him not to shut down PdR immediately for his grotesquely inappropriate conduct. Jackie's call for remembering all are supposedly "on the same side" rang hollow and ineffectual, especially given her own disrespectful conduct towards Ms. M on numerous occasions. They should all be ashamed for their failures to second motions (even for the purpose of discussion, just out of courtesy and simple respect), or take seriously the many thoughtful orders Ms. M has put forward over the years, which they too often allow to die on the vine because they don't want to do the heavy lifting of looking at the various issues with any degree of seriousness.

The public spoke loudly and clearly about its respect for Ms. Medeiros, hence her number one vote-getter status the past two elections. Apparently the rest of the BOA just doesn't get it (or even pay attention to all the blanks by their own names).

These elected and paid officials are way past due for a reckoning, which will happen, one way or another. The scandals that have been brewing for a long time are all coming to a head.



Not only should PdR be sanctioned, but so should the superintendent and school business manager for failing to do basic due diligence and answer questions from their bosses, the elected officials. They should also be severely sanctioned, as should the city solicitor, all misbehaving and inappropriate city executives--CT, JP, PdR, & RvC--for failing to answer the questions of Mrs. CKK on the School Committee and backing the creation of illegal norms that empower the SC chair to violate the rights of elected officials to their due free access to city records and the public to its right to public information. This is the major issue that confronts Melrose right now, whether or not anyone officially acknowledges it. This purposeful blocking of transperency and accountability, even to those who are required to sign warrants paying the bills, all under the various guises constructed by a dunce city solicitor and a totally corrupt city administration, is how the city is trying to block access to even more egregious issues--like the grotesque coverup around civil rights and SPED litigation or legal challenges.

Mr. DR deserves condemnation for his disgraceful conduct towards Ms. Medeiros. Similarly the school bosses deserve condemnation, as does the bulk of the school committee. These small-town bullies are extending the limits of their thuggery, and the city just sits around worrying about the football team's latest loss instead of storming the aldermanic chamber and demanding redress for the increasing cases of gross misconduct on the part of our officials.


Clown out
Dec 16, 2015 - 8:29PM
Re: Aldermen Meeting

To be honest Clown Patrol, Melrose residents are sick and tired of Mayor Dolan's handpicked hand-me-down losers from Everett and Plymouth and of course the local losers that find pleasure (with the Mayor's blessing) in being obnoxious,
anti-transparent and unaccountable to the residents here. You think the Mayor would get the point with his override initiative being shot town 2 to 1 and 30% of the voters voting against him, despite running uncontested. When is the last time that ever happened to a Mayor anywhere in New England?? So get into your little city-owned clown car, drive back to city hall and lick the boots of the guy in the second floor corner office if that is what gives you pleasure....


Clown Control to major Rob
Dec 17, 2015 - 9:11PM
Re: Aldermen Meeting

Monica got over six hundred write-in votes without saying a word or sticking a sign into a lawn. Another 20% of voters had the opportunity to vote for Dolan but were so disgusted, they didn't even bother. When 30% of voters in the booth don't vote for an incumbent who runs unopposed, they are sending a message. When they vote 2 to 1 against your centerpiece initiative (the override) they are sending a message. There are many capable Melrosians who could run for Mayor if they didn't have to divest themselves of their family businesses, their law practices, their futures. Dolan's clever strategy to call for an amendment to the City Charter to prevent future competitors and to increase the term to fours years was essentially handing himself a patronage position in city government for good. Likewise, gaining control over the school committee created a bottomless pit of patronage positions in the school system available to him to reward supporters.
Look around you. He's got so many Melrosians beholden to him via favors: GIC insurance for aldermen and their families with 10 years of service, multiple politicians with spouses or children on the city payroll, MEFers beholden to him for the $10,000 annual "grant" from the taxpayer's pockets....on and on....Ask yourselves who is funding all those favors to his supporters. That's right, you and I.


Re: 5,18 million reason why

Watching that BOA meeting (starting at 1 hour and 45 minutes) it's clear how little has changed.

Now JLB works as the new asst to the mayor, shilling for the override and nauseating call for colleagiality, just as she did the last time around as a BOA member. She stood up to RD one particular time and was actually heroic then in naming the bullying for exactly what it was. Here she sat watching it happen and tried to equate MM's call for appropriate transparency and due diligence from highly paid city officials with PDR's unprofessional targeted bullying of MM. Just gross! And PM's "leadership" is icing on that gross cake.

The "financial troubles" the BOA referred to in 2015 are tolling the same fear-mongering bells now, and just as disingenuously if not more so, if that's possible.

Gee, all those doom and gloom projections for that disastrous override attempt really came to pass, didn't they, especially when $3.5 million in "free cash" showed up just a few months after that spectacular (and warranted) defeat!

Re: 5,18 million reason why

How is it that the powers that be would not schedule or pay for a Special Election for something as critically important as replacing the mayor for two years, but suddenly the city can afford to do this for another override referendum?

As far as many of us are concerned, if the city wants an override and special election, it can first prove the facts of the matter with a full forensic audit (and yes, that is costly, also). This local administration has played fast and loose with plenty of "alternate facts" for the last 15 years, and it's time for some real accountability. They want an override, so they can produce actual provable facts, and that doesn't mean the kind of obviously incomplete and/or outright false representations that have come from this administration, city solicitor, city auditor, board of aldermen, and certainly a proven lying/cheating school committee and superintendent. These are the same ones who conspired to keep inconvenient truths like many federal civil rights violations from the public and even an elected official! So there is absolutely no reason to trust those who are now calling for another override based on similar lines of hand-wringing as before. Do a full and complete audit with a reputable, not-in-the-tank firm and prove the facts. Only then might there be any credibility from this Trumpian Melrose city government.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

If the override fails again, I think we'll be having the same discussions again, pretty soon.Stay warm!


Re: 5,18 million reason why

ANOTHER OVERRIDE ? WAKE UP MELROSE

Excerpts from the Atlantic Magazine's May issue cover story: "The secret shame of the middle class" by Neal Gabler:
"Since 2013, the federal reserve board has conducted a survey to 'monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.' The answer to one question was astonishing. The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all.
"A 2014 Bankrate survey, echoing the Fed’s data, found that only 38 percent of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency-room visit or $500 car repair with money they’d saved. Two reports published last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found, respectively, that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having enough money to cover everyday expenses.
"A similar study conducted by Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University, Peter Tufano of Oxford, and Daniel Schneider, then of Princeton, asked individuals whether they could “come up with” $2,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense. They found that slightly more than one-quarter could not, and another 19 percent could do so only if they pawned possessions or took out payday loans. The conclusion: Nearly half of American adults are “financially fragile” and “living very close to the financial edge.”
"Jacob Hacker of Yale, measured the number of households that had lost a quarter or more of their “available income” in a given year—income minus medical expenses and interest on debt—and found that in each year from 2001 to 2012, at least one in five had suffered such a loss and couldn’t compensate by digging into savings.
"The American Psychological Association's 2014 survey on stress in the United States found 54 percent of Americans said they had just enough or not enough money each month to meet their expenses—found money to be the country’s No. 1 stressor. Seventy-two percent of adults reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, and nearly a quarter rated their stress “extreme.”
"Thirty-two percent of the survey respondents said they couldn’t afford to live a healthy lifestyle, and 21 percent said they were so financially strapped that they had forgone a doctor’s visit, or considered doing so, in the previous year.
“Financial insecurity is associated with depression, anxiety, and a loss of personal control that leads to marital difficulties,” says Brad Klontz, the financial psychologist.
"A 2014 New York Times poll found that only 64 percent of Americans said they believed in the American dream—the lowest figure in nearly two decades."

Re: 5,18 million reason why

You come to this site as do others because it provides information and insight on the schools and city government that city hall and the school department simply refuses to release. Over the last several years the worst this city has to offer spent hundreds and thousands of dollars attempting to obstruct public records laws and open meeting laws to the point that our own elected representatives on the school committee and in the aldermanic chamber have had to file multiple complaints with the AG's Office and Secretary of State's office just to get even basic information in order to make informed decisions on important votes.


The difference between you and others who come to this site is that you and your cabal use the information to figure out how do damage control and prevent future leaks of city/school administrator malfeasance and stupidity.


The others on this site use the information to better our city and schools and make informed decisions on important future override decisions and elections.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Park Plaza Melrose
You come to this site as do others because it provides information and insight on the schools and city government that city hall and the school department simply refuses to release. Over the last several years the worst this city has to offer spent hundreds and thousands of dollars attempting to obstruct public records laws and open meeting laws to the point that our own elected representatives on the school committee and in the aldermanic chamber have had to file multiple complaints with the AG's Office and Secretary of State's office just to get even basic information in order to make informed decisions on important votes.


The difference between you and others who come to this site is that you and your cabal use the information to figure out how do damage control and prevent future leaks of city/school administrator malfeasance and stupidity.


The others on this site use the information to better our city and schools and make informed decisions on important future override decisions and elections.
Um, who are you talking to? There’s that little “QUOTE” button over there on the right...kind of helps your comment from being a non-sequitor and sounding a bit unhinged.

Just saying....

Re: 5,18 million reason why

The others on this site use the information to better our city and schools and make informed decisions on important future override decisions and elections.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Truth andTransparency
The others on this site use the information to better our city and schools and make informed decisions on important future override decisions and elections.
People on social security or disability? What about them?

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Thinking before you speak or do something. It's about knowing that every day, the choices we make can and will affect our lives. It's about being accountable for our choices in life. We have the right to make our decisions every day, and every day is a new day. But there will come a day when our lives will end, and we will be accountable for all of the things we have said and done.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Let the games begin.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

The override debate has dominated civic discussion in Melrose ever since the Board of Aldermen agreed to this tax override vote.April 2 2019 Tuesday .

Re: 5,18 million reason why

The others on this site use the information to better our city and schools and make informed decisions on important future override decisions and elections.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Checks and Balances
It was demanded by a yes =voter that any no voter better have and better have a very good reason why there was a no vote. I call on you.. You tell me why 5.18 million. I call on you to tell me why I should be thrown from town buy this large sum.. I call on you to justify why my family will have to sacrifice food and other certain things. I call on you to explain why Taymor ignores the bullying problem.. I call on you why 6% makes sense when the region average is what 2,2 and the nation average is even less. I call on you to tell my kids that the will have less because my tx bill has gone so high I can no longer afford to live in town. I call on you to tell the people th truth. Get your facts from legitimate sites, get your ideas from the popular and get your facts straight because I really want to hear you tell family why they are no longer good enough for melrose?


All the money in the world won't buy me but will it buy you!
We all await your answer..you are the one asking for 5.18 million so lets hear why!

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Water Sewer RATES
Checks and Balances
It was demanded by a yes =voter that any no voter better have and better have a very good reason why there was a no vote. I call on you.. You tell me why 5.18 million. I call on you to tell me why I should be thrown from town buy this large sum.. I call on you to justify why my family will have to sacrifice food and other certain things. I call on you to explain why Taymor ignores the bullying problem.. I call on you why 6% makes sense when the region average is what 2,2 and the nation average is even less. I call on you to tell my kids that the will have less because my tx bill has gone so high I can no longer afford to live in town. I call on you to tell the people th truth. Get your facts from legitimate sites, get your ideas from the popular and get your facts straight because I really want to hear you tell family why they are no longer good enough for melrose?


All the money in the world won\'t buy me but will it buy you!
We all await your answer..you are the one asking for 5.18 million so lets hear why!
It’s interesting the water and sewer rates increases will be recommended on April 30, 2019. Four weeks after the special election. Apparently the city doesn’t want residents to be thinking about the increase water& sewer rates as they head into the special election on April 2. Wonder why??This is both laughable and predictable by city hall. We already pay the third highest water & sewer rate of the 66 MWRA communities. Now they are hiding the rate increase until after the special election.How much more does Melrose want us to pay? There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.Override Overboard On April 2 2019.


https://www.manishaformelrose.com/single-post/2019/02/16/Water-Sewer-Rate-Committee-13119-Meeting-Recap

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Tracey Cruickshank posted this on Melrose Community Page:

"As a former School Committee member and School Building Committee member, I am committed to making sure our good schools not only to stay that way, but also improve."
This is a direct quote from the website of Melrose Alderman-at-Large, Monica Medeiros and yet I believe it's been months since we've heard her comment on the issue of the Override.
She is currently the Aldermanic liaison to the school committee according to this past week's Melrose Free Press. Shouldn't she have an opinion on the state of our city as related to the state of our schools? Ms. Medeiros also claims on her website that she believes in transparency, yet what have we heard from her regarding the issue of the Override? In the fall, Ms. Medeiros said she didn't have all the facts, all the numbers, but clearly that isn't the case currently. The facts are out there and the numbers are clear. Let's hear from the rest of our city leaders. Mayor Infurna, Mike Zwirko, Jen Lemmerman, Manisha Bewtra, Frank Wright, Kate Lipper-Garabedian and Peter Mortimer have all been transparent. Time to step up Monica Medeiros.April 2 2019 Tuesday .Plaese go vote yes or no.


Re: 5,18 million reason why


Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.
Faced with a Recession, what part of "We Can't afford It" do they not understand ?

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Water Sewer RATES

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.
Faced with a Recession, what part of "We Can't afford It" do they not understand ?
Two weeks until this override.APRIL 2 2019 AND the water and sewer rates increases will be recommended on April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Vote Big No
Water Sewer RATES

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.
Faced with a Recession, what part of \"We Can\'t afford It\" do they not understand ?
Two weeks until this override.APRIL 2 2019 AND the water and sewer rates increases will be recommended on April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
from the M Free Press:

Opinion: Medeiros: Taxpayers need unobstructed view
Posted at 12:40 PM Updated at 12:41 PM

Submitted by Alderman Monica Medeiros.

Last November, I, as an Alderman, voted against moving the Mayor’s proposed $5.18 million tax override question forward. I felt the city had not been thorough enough in evaluating our financial picture, nor in considering the effects of adding these millions of dollars of new spending.

In preparing for this vote, I learned that our city had much bigger problems than I had suspected. Namely that the executives in our city government have failed to do any long term evaluation of our financial outlook.

I felt it critical to have a full understanding of the financial assumptions the city was making before I could vote to pass such a hefty burden on to seniors and families.

After asking Mayor Infurna for copies of any long range budget forecasts that had been prepared and used by the City of Melrose over the last five years, I was forced to appeal to the Secretary of State’s office for this information only to learn that no such documents exist.

The Mayor’s office directed me to a tool on our city website, “Visual Budget.” In the Aldermen meeting, I asked our CFO & Auditor Patrick Dello Russo if this was the tool he was using to make our predictions in terms of revenues and expenditures. His reply? “We don’t make predictions. This is not a magic show.”

Try as I might, I could not seem to match the “Visual Budget” figures to the actual budgets I had voted on. Days later, Kerriann Golden, our Assistant Auditor confirmed, “The last actual figures reflected are Fiscal 2016,” -- two full fiscal years behind.

The outdated “Visual Budget” data was not only a waste of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on this service, but also so inaccurate that it was actually misleading to the public. Most importantly, it could not have been being used as an accurate tool for evaluating our city’s financial outlook by anyone including our city executives.

Melrose is at a crossroads. Real estate prices have skyrocketed to an all-time high. Many new families have chosen Melrose for its great schools, beautiful downtown and its relative affordability.

Conversely, many of our families, seniors and one-income households are struggling. Recently, a Melrose Housing Authority Commissioner testified at our meeting that the waitlist for housing of Melrose families, seniors, Veterans and the handicap is in the thousands.

Sadly, I hear from residents who are told if they can’t afford this increase, they should move along. But where will they go? After paying their taxes for years, volunteering in our community, donating to all kinds of causes, including our schools, they are told they haven’t paid their “fair share” and should move along. I can think of little that is so cruel.

Even for those of us who are working, many of us are only one lockout or government shutdown away from being in financial peril.

But regardless of income, every taxpayer deserves good fiscal management.

As an Alderman-at-Large, my job is to consider the big picture ramifications of our decisions, especially when it comes to spending and taxation. When it comes to the big picture, the taxpayers deserve an unobstructed view.

If our leaders are not looking forward to ensure we can sustain the costs associated with the hiring of nearly 30 new positions and school department raises (not teachers only) of nearly $2 million included in this proposal, every one of these positions is at risk.

Before final decisions are made, the voters also need to know that large expenditures are waiting in the wings. What’s not included in this override, may be most significant.

This proposed tax increase includes no money for any other city department other than the schools. Although $250,000 is included in the override for the loss of rent from Beebe School, no plan exists to bring this building back online and fund the staff, renovation nor utility costs. As we make room for some Melrose students, we will disrupt the lives of the 30 or so Melrose special needs children who currently attend the SEEM Collaborative who will be uprooted and bussed to a new school outside our city limits.

Plans are in the works for the rebuilding or repair of the police and fire stations, and renovations of the library. Whether or not this question passes, each of these is expected to be presented to the voters in the form of an increase above the Prop 2 ½ limit.

Like our taxpayers, our leaders need a panoramic view before they make decisions that affect individuals so significantly. Financial forecasting in budgeting has been considered a best practice for more than a decade. Melrose can do better. Before any tax increase is considered, our taxpayers deserve an objective analysis of our financial picture and an independent audit of our books.

Demand accountability. Vote NO.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Come On, Man
Ice Yes No
Vote Big No
Water Sewer RATES

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.
Faced with a Recession, what part of \\\\\\\"We Can\\\\\\\'t afford It\\\\\\\" do they not understand ?
Two weeks until this override.APRIL 2 2019 AND the water and sewer rates increases will be recommended on April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
from the M Free Press:

Opinion: Medeiros: Taxpayers need unobstructed view
Posted at 12:40 PM Updated at 12:41 PM

Submitted by Alderman Monica Medeiros.

Last November, I, as an Alderman, voted against moving the Mayor’s proposed $5.18 million tax override question forward. I felt the city had not been thorough enough in evaluating our financial picture, nor in considering the effects of adding these millions of dollars of new spending.

In preparing for this vote, I learned that our city had much bigger problems than I had suspected. Namely that the executives in our city government have failed to do any long term evaluation of our financial outlook.

I felt it critical to have a full understanding of the financial assumptions the city was making before I could vote to pass such a hefty burden on to seniors and families.

After asking Mayor Infurna for copies of any long range budget forecasts that had been prepared and used by the City of Melrose over the last five years, I was forced to appeal to the Secretary of State’s office for this information only to learn that no such documents exist.

The Mayor’s office directed me to a tool on our city website, “Visual Budget.” In the Aldermen meeting, I asked our CFO & Auditor Patrick Dello Russo if this was the tool he was using to make our predictions in terms of revenues and expenditures. His reply? “We don’t make predictions. This is not a magic show.”

Try as I might, I could not seem to match the “Visual Budget” figures to the actual budgets I had voted on. Days later, Kerriann Golden, our Assistant Auditor confirmed, “The last actual figures reflected are Fiscal 2016,” -- two full fiscal years behind.

The outdated “Visual Budget” data was not only a waste of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on this service, but also so inaccurate that it was actually misleading to the public. Most importantly, it could not have been being used as an accurate tool for evaluating our city’s financial outlook by anyone including our city executives.

Melrose is at a crossroads. Real estate prices have skyrocketed to an all-time high. Many new families have chosen Melrose for its great schools, beautiful downtown and its relative affordability.

Conversely, many of our families, seniors and one-income households are struggling. Recently, a Melrose Housing Authority Commissioner testified at our meeting that the waitlist for housing of Melrose families, seniors, Veterans and the handicap is in the thousands.

Sadly, I hear from residents who are told if they can’t afford this increase, they should move along. But where will they go? After paying their taxes for years, volunteering in our community, donating to all kinds of causes, including our schools, they are told they haven’t paid their “fair share” and should move along. I can think of little that is so cruel.

Even for those of us who are working, many of us are only one lockout or government shutdown away from being in financial peril.

But regardless of income, every taxpayer deserves good fiscal management.

As an Alderman-at-Large, my job is to consider the big picture ramifications of our decisions, especially when it comes to spending and taxation. When it comes to the big picture, the taxpayers deserve an unobstructed view.

If our leaders are not looking forward to ensure we can sustain the costs associated with the hiring of nearly 30 new positions and school department raises (not teachers only) of nearly $2 million included in this proposal, every one of these positions is at risk.

Before final decisions are made, the voters also need to know that large expenditures are waiting in the wings. What’s not included in this override, may be most significant.

This proposed tax increase includes no money for any other city department other than the schools. Although $250,000 is included in the override for the loss of rent from Beebe School, no plan exists to bring this building back online and fund the staff, renovation nor utility costs. As we make room for some Melrose students, we will disrupt the lives of the 30 or so Melrose special needs children who currently attend the SEEM Collaborative who will be uprooted and bussed to a new school outside our city limits.

Plans are in the works for the rebuilding or repair of the police and fire stations, and renovations of the library. Whether or not this question passes, each of these is expected to be presented to the voters in the form of an increase above the Prop 2 ½ limit.

Like our taxpayers, our leaders need a panoramic view before they make decisions that affect individuals so significantly. Financial forecasting in budgeting has been considered a best practice for more than a decade. Melrose can do better. Before any tax increase is considered, our taxpayers deserve an objective analysis of our financial picture and an independent audit of our books.

Demand accountability. Vote NO.
Translation: "I haven't paid attention to how budgeting in this city is done for ten years of being an alderman, and now I'm surprised somehow. My ignorance about this process I have been a core part of for a decade should undermine any trust the public has in me.
It is not the same today.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Special Election
Come On, Man
Ice Yes No
Vote Big No
Water Sewer RATES

Much of the talk in Melrose of late has centered on the upcoming tax override vote, with each side of the debate making their presence known and stating their respective cases to all who will listen.
Faced with a Recession, what part of \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"We Can\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t afford It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" do they not understand ?
Two weeks until this override.APRIL 2 2019 AND the water and sewer rates increases will be recommended on April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
from the M Free Press:

Opinion: Medeiros: Taxpayers need unobstructed view
Posted at 12:40 PM Updated at 12:41 PM

Submitted by Alderman Monica Medeiros.

Last November, I, as an Alderman, voted against moving the Mayor’s proposed $5.18 million tax override question forward. I felt the city had not been thorough enough in evaluating our financial picture, nor in considering the effects of adding these millions of dollars of new spending.

In preparing for this vote, I learned that our city had much bigger problems than I had suspected. Namely that the executives in our city government have failed to do any long term evaluation of our financial outlook.

I felt it critical to have a full understanding of the financial assumptions the city was making before I could vote to pass such a hefty burden on to seniors and families.

After asking Mayor Infurna for copies of any long range budget forecasts that had been prepared and used by the City of Melrose over the last five years, I was forced to appeal to the Secretary of State’s office for this information only to learn that no such documents exist.

The Mayor’s office directed me to a tool on our city website, “Visual Budget.” In the Aldermen meeting, I asked our CFO & Auditor Patrick Dello Russo if this was the tool he was using to make our predictions in terms of revenues and expenditures. His reply? “We don’t make predictions. This is not a magic show.”

Try as I might, I could not seem to match the “Visual Budget” figures to the actual budgets I had voted on. Days later, Kerriann Golden, our Assistant Auditor confirmed, “The last actual figures reflected are Fiscal 2016,” -- two full fiscal years behind.

The outdated “Visual Budget” data was not only a waste of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on this service, but also so inaccurate that it was actually misleading to the public. Most importantly, it could not have been being used as an accurate tool for evaluating our city’s financial outlook by anyone including our city executives.

Melrose is at a crossroads. Real estate prices have skyrocketed to an all-time high. Many new families have chosen Melrose for its great schools, beautiful downtown and its relative affordability.

Conversely, many of our families, seniors and one-income households are struggling. Recently, a Melrose Housing Authority Commissioner testified at our meeting that the waitlist for housing of Melrose families, seniors, Veterans and the handicap is in the thousands.

Sadly, I hear from residents who are told if they can’t afford this increase, they should move along. But where will they go? After paying their taxes for years, volunteering in our community, donating to all kinds of causes, including our schools, they are told they haven’t paid their “fair share” and should move along. I can think of little that is so cruel.

Even for those of us who are working, many of us are only one lockout or government shutdown away from being in financial peril.

But regardless of income, every taxpayer deserves good fiscal management.

As an Alderman-at-Large, my job is to consider the big picture ramifications of our decisions, especially when it comes to spending and taxation. When it comes to the big picture, the taxpayers deserve an unobstructed view.

If our leaders are not looking forward to ensure we can sustain the costs associated with the hiring of nearly 30 new positions and school department raises (not teachers only) of nearly $2 million included in this proposal, every one of these positions is at risk.

Before final decisions are made, the voters also need to know that large expenditures are waiting in the wings. What’s not included in this override, may be most significant.

This proposed tax increase includes no money for any other city department other than the schools. Although $250,000 is included in the override for the loss of rent from Beebe School, no plan exists to bring this building back online and fund the staff, renovation nor utility costs. As we make room for some Melrose students, we will disrupt the lives of the 30 or so Melrose special needs children who currently attend the SEEM Collaborative who will be uprooted and bussed to a new school outside our city limits.

Plans are in the works for the rebuilding or repair of the police and fire stations, and renovations of the library. Whether or not this question passes, each of these is expected to be presented to the voters in the form of an increase above the Prop 2 ½ limit.

Like our taxpayers, our leaders need a panoramic view before they make decisions that affect individuals so significantly. Financial forecasting in budgeting has been considered a best practice for more than a decade. Melrose can do better. Before any tax increase is considered, our taxpayers deserve an objective analysis of our financial picture and an independent audit of our books.

Demand accountability. Vote NO.
Translation: \"I haven\'t paid attention to how budgeting in this city is done for ten years of being an alderman, and now I\'m surprised somehow. My ignorance about this process I have been a core part of for a decade should undermine any trust the public has in me.
It is not the same today.
Better to vote in person. Vote NO on APRIL 2.2019

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Is MBMM one of the Alderman who received health insurance benefits for years ? Just read her article on override!

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Curious
Is MBMM one of the Alderman who received health insurance benefits for years ? Just read her article on override!
It is what it is.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

April 30, 2019.
April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
Demand accountability.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

learn
April 30, 2019.
April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
Demand accountability.
It has gotten very interesting here in Melrose. our superintendent, our Mayor, and of course the school committee always looking for new fees to charge us parents. If the budget is that tight, why would you give the superintendent a raise, when the summer begins and everybody is away? I can tell you why, none of you have the you know whats to say no to a raise. It's almost like you warship the ground she walks on. Here's the big question for all of us in the community. How much is the superintendent costing us in legal fees, because of her misjudgement? But better yet, she doesn't even know, because she has hired the best of the best, but the sad part about all of this, us tax payers are on the line for this. Because she doesn't even know what she's being billed for. Because the way she negotiated her contract with these people. Then of course we have the public relations firm that she hired. That's $10,000 or more. And especially if they have to work overtime. So what does this tell us about our superintendent? I find it almost impossible with her education and being a superintendent and licensed, that she needs to use a public relations firm. To speak for herself, the city of Melrose, and the school system. It's pretty sad that Margaret Driscoll thought it was a great idea (for some of you she of the Melrose School Committee.)Just shows you that the superintendent is in charge and she's not accountable to the school committee like she should be. Lets add to that a little bit. She was asked a question not too long ago, about the rules and regulations in regards to students and parents, about giving proper notice about suspensions, or anything else to go along with that and you know how she answered it? She didn't answer it. She felt the school committee members didn't deserve an answer. She had been put on notice for the past two years now, that she is not in compliance with the law. With the students rights, and the parents right, we all have to understand, these children are under 18 years old and even under 21 years old and they are protected under the law. So when in the hell, is the Melrose School Committee and our mayor, are going to do the right thing and address this issue? Yes, you Mrs Mayor. We are going to wait until it effects your own children, then you will do something about this. Some of you might think that I am stepping over the line, I am sure not doing that. Mayor; have you forgotten about the folks in this community, the children in this community? Maybe our city solicitor and the school attorney need to be educated on the law. Oh yes, I'm calling them both out. Why not? Nobody else has. The interesting question here, Mayor, maybe our city solicitor is doing what you want him too do because you hired him, and he is an elected official in Everett. Maybe you think that this is not going anywhere, think twice. You never know. Once again, this goes back to money being tight. The message that was delivered to the city of Melrose back in December 2015, the citizens voted no on the override because they don't trust any of you. You think that we're a bunch of fools out here, yeah you can say that you don't read the board, we all read the board. The big question becomes, our superintendent has been found guilty, or the city whatever way you want to put it of civil rights violations. I always thought a student would come first, but apparently that's not the case here. The big question for all of us in the community is; 'how do we make Melrose a better public schools system, going up against the Charter schools?' First thing that I can think of is offering something better that the Charter school doesn't offer, but maybe you folks forgot that you are in competition. You do a lot of crying about how much money goes to the Charter schools and vocational schools because the product that they have is no good. Why do I say that? It's very simple. Just look at the board, look at all that's been said. People are talking about real things, but the Melrose Schooll committee and our Mayor and our superintendent don't realize that we do have the pulse of what's going on here. Protect the administration, and tell the parents, you're not going to do anything. People speak at public participation, at the school committee meetings and if you don't like what they're saying, you cut them off after five minutes. But if you have somebody who works for the city, or a person that you really like, they can talk well beyond the five minutes. I think we call that discrimination. That's just an opinion. But the board seems to echo that. So my message to the Melrose School Committee, our superintendent, our Mayor (because the mayor sits on the school committee), why don't you just be honest with all of us in the community.APRIL 2 2019 you win on the citizens voted yes on the override .The interesting question here is how about this incomplete Budget 2020.Not good for the city of Melrose.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Dad
learn
April 30, 2019.
April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
Demand accountability.
It has gotten very interesting here in Melrose. our superintendent, our Mayor, and of course the school committee always looking for new fees to charge us parents. If the budget is that tight, why would you give the superintendent a raise, when the summer begins and everybody is away? I can tell you why, none of you have the you know whats to say no to a raise. It\'s almost like you warship the ground she walks on. Here\'s the big question for all of us in the community. How much is the superintendent costing us in legal fees, because of her misjudgement? But better yet, she doesn\'t even know, because she has hired the best of the best, but the sad part about all of this, us tax payers are on the line for this. Because she doesn\'t even know what she\'s being billed for. Because the way she negotiated her contract with these people. Then of course we have the public relations firm that she hired. That\'s $10,000 or more. And especially if they have to work overtime. So what does this tell us about our superintendent? I find it almost impossible with her education and being a superintendent and licensed, that she needs to use a public relations firm. To speak for herself, the city of Melrose, and the school system. It\'s pretty sad that Margaret Driscoll thought it was a great idea (for some of you she of the Melrose School Committee.)Just shows you that the superintendent is in charge and she\'s not accountable to the school committee like she should be. Lets add to that a little bit. She was asked a question not too long ago, about the rules and regulations in regards to students and parents, about giving proper notice about suspensions, or anything else to go along with that and you know how she answered it? She didn\'t answer it. She felt the school committee members didn\'t deserve an answer. She had been put on notice for the past two years now, that she is not in compliance with the law. With the students rights, and the parents right, we all have to understand, these children are under 18 years old and even under 21 years old and they are protected under the law. So when in the hell, is the Melrose School Committee and our mayor, are going to do the right thing and address this issue? Yes, you Mrs Mayor. We are going to wait until it effects your own children, then you will do something about this. Some of you might think that I am stepping over the line, I am sure not doing that. Mayor; have you forgotten about the folks in this community, the children in this community? Maybe our city solicitor and the school attorney need to be educated on the law. Oh yes, I\'m calling them both out. Why not? Nobody else has. The interesting question here, Mayor, maybe our city solicitor is doing what you want him too do because you hired him, and he is an elected official in Everett. Maybe you think that this is not going anywhere, think twice. You never know. Once again, this goes back to money being tight. The message that was delivered to the city of Melrose back in December 2015, the citizens voted no on the override because they don\'t trust any of you. You think that we\'re a bunch of fools out here, yeah you can say that you don\'t read the board, we all read the board. The big question becomes, our superintendent has been found guilty, or the city whatever way you want to put it of civil rights violations. I always thought a student would come first, but apparently that\'s not the case here. The big question for all of us in the community is; \'how do we make Melrose a better public schools system, going up against the Charter schools?\' First thing that I can think of is offering something better that the Charter school doesn\'t offer, but maybe you folks forgot that you are in competition. You do a lot of crying about how much money goes to the Charter schools and vocational schools because the product that they have is no good. Why do I say that? It\'s very simple. Just look at the board, look at all that\'s been said. People are talking about real things, but the Melrose Schooll committee and our Mayor and our superintendent don\'t realize that we do have the pulse of what\'s going on here. Protect the administration, and tell the parents, you\'re not going to do anything. People speak at public participation, at the school committee meetings and if you don\'t like what they\'re saying, you cut them off after five minutes. But if you have somebody who works for the city, or a person that you really like, they can talk well beyond the five minutes. I think we call that discrimination. That\'s just an opinion. But the board seems to echo that. So my message to the Melrose School Committee, our superintendent, our Mayor (because the mayor sits on the school committee), why don\'t you just be honest with all of us in the community.APRIL 2 2019 you win on the citizens voted yes on the override .The interesting question here is how about this incomplete Budget 2020.Not good for the city of Melrose.
This superintendent needs to be fire or This superintendent needs to resignation .Super tries to get incomplete Budget 2020 approved.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Dad
learn
April 30, 2019.
April 30, 2019. There is currently $1.46million in reserves in the water & sewer enterprise funds.
Demand accountability.
It has gotten very interesting here in Melrose. our superintendent, our Mayor, and of course the school committee always looking for new fees to charge us parents. If the budget is that tight, why would you give the superintendent a raise, when the summer begins and everybody is away? I can tell you why, none of you have the you know whats to say no to a raise. It\'s almost like you warship the ground she walks on. Here\'s the big question for all of us in the community. How much is the superintendent costing us in legal fees, because of her misjudgement? But better yet, she doesn\'t even know, because she has hired the best of the best, but the sad part about all of this, us tax payers are on the line for this. Because she doesn\'t even know what she\'s being billed for. Because the way she negotiated her contract with these people. Then of course we have the public relations firm that she hired. That\'s $10,000 or more. And especially if they have to work overtime. So what does this tell us about our superintendent? I find it almost impossible with her education and being a superintendent and licensed, that she needs to use a public relations firm. To speak for herself, the city of Melrose, and the school system. It\'s pretty sad that Margaret Driscoll thought it was a great idea (for some of you she of the Melrose School Committee.)Just shows you that the superintendent is in charge and she\'s not accountable to the school committee like she should be. Lets add to that a little bit. She was asked a question not too long ago, about the rules and regulations in regards to students and parents, about giving proper notice about suspensions, or anything else to go along with that and you know how she answered it? She didn\'t answer it. She felt the school committee members didn\'t deserve an answer. She had been put on notice for the past two years now, that she is not in compliance with the law. With the students rights, and the parents right, we all have to understand, these children are under 18 years old and even under 21 years old and they are protected under the law. So when in the hell, is the Melrose School Committee and our mayor, are going to do the right thing and address this issue? Yes, you Mrs Mayor. We are going to wait until it effects your own children, then you will do something about this. Some of you might think that I am stepping over the line, I am sure not doing that. Mayor; have you forgotten about the folks in this community, the children in this community? Maybe our city solicitor and the school attorney need to be educated on the law. Oh yes, I\'m calling them both out. Why not? Nobody else has. The interesting question here, Mayor, maybe our city solicitor is doing what you want him too do because you hired him, and he is an elected official in Everett. Maybe you think that this is not going anywhere, think twice. You never know. Once again, this goes back to money being tight. The message that was delivered to the city of Melrose back in December 2015, the citizens voted no on the override because they don\'t trust any of you. You think that we\'re a bunch of fools out here, yeah you can say that you don\'t read the board, we all read the board. The big question becomes, our superintendent has been found guilty, or the city whatever way you want to put it of civil rights violations. I always thought a student would come first, but apparently that\'s not the case here. The big question for all of us in the community is; \'how do we make Melrose a better public schools system, going up against the Charter schools?\' First thing that I can think of is offering something better that the Charter school doesn\'t offer, but maybe you folks forgot that you are in competition. You do a lot of crying about how much money goes to the Charter schools and vocational schools because the product that they have is no good. Why do I say that? It\'s very simple. Just look at the board, look at all that\'s been said. People are talking about real things, but the Melrose Schooll committee and our Mayor and our superintendent don\'t realize that we do have the pulse of what\'s going on here. Protect the administration, and tell the parents, you\'re not going to do anything. People speak at public participation, at the school committee meetings and if you don\'t like what they\'re saying, you cut them off after five minutes. But if you have somebody who works for the city, or a person that you really like, they can talk well beyond the five minutes. I think we call that discrimination. That\'s just an opinion. But the board seems to echo that. So my message to the Melrose School Committee, our superintendent, our Mayor (because the mayor sits on the school committee), why don\'t you just be honest with all of us in the community.APRIL 2 2019 you win on the citizens voted yes on the override .The interesting question here is how about this incomplete Budget 2020.Not good for the city of Melrose.
Will no one listen to me?

It is basically screaming into the void when you make posts like this without paragraph breaks. No one is reading them.

I am assuming you make your posts hoping they are being read and digested. If you just want to vent and have no one read it, keep at it.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

Agreed

Re: 5,18 million reason why

I also agree. Whatever message is intended to be conveyed is completely lost, but even worse are the incomprehensible rants and multiple repetitive postings of those who appear to have the intelligence of an irradiated cockroach. If you had no idea how many really ignorant people infest this City, just read some of these.

Re: 5,18 million reason why

5,18 Million Dollar Show for Melrose Mass 02176=1327 Was not good for all.

Melrose parents may be asked to buy new laptops .THE NEXT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING!

Incoming sixth- and ninth-graders may have to provide Chromebooks starting next year, although financial assistance is available for some.

Parents of sixth- and ninth-grade students may be asked to buy Chromebooks for their children at the start of next school year, as part of multiyear push to provide every student at the middle- and high-school levels with the simple and relatively inexpensive laptop computers. Students entering sixth and ninth grade would be required to purchase Chromebooks at the start of each of the following two years, after which only incoming sixth-graders would be covered by the policy, since at that point students in all higher grades would already have theirs, provided they attended Melrose schools in prior years.

Financial assistance, up to and including 100 percent of the purchase price, is available for families already enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program, or those experiencing other hardship.

“We spent a lot of time on the ways that people could get a Chromebook,” Technology Director Neal Ellis told the School Committee at its most recent meeting. “We based a lot of that on the National School Lunch Program, the NSLP, which is based on the federal poverty income level. To apply for the NSLP, free lunch is at 130 percent of the federal poverty level, 185 is reduced lunch.”

In this case, those qualifying for free lunch could have the entire cost of the Chromebook covered by the district. Those on reduced lunches would get the laptop for half price, which, payable over three years, would come out to about $40 per year. Families earning twice the federal poverty level would qualify for a 25-percent discount.

“You can always apply for a hardship as well,” Ellis said. “All those are kept very confidential. Those are handled with our finance director personally.”

Students who already have access to a comparable device can use it in place of a new Chromebook, he added.

Superintendent Cyndy Taymore said the district has been planning the 1:1 Chromebook push for some time, but that providing subsidies to families who need them wasn’t feasible before.

“This has been on the backburner for a while,” said Taymore. “This was dependant on the override. In order to underwrite a portion of our students, we needed extra funding, and that was in the override money.”

But Mayor and School Committee member Gail Infurna objected to adding another required expense, so soon after Melrosians voted to raise their own taxes in support of the city’s schools.

“I’m a little concerned about this,” she said. “We just passed an override, and I think the timing is a little tough.”

Infurna suggested the program could be implemented on a more voluntary basis. A draft message to parents prepared by administrators reads, “We are asking all families of student entering levels 6 and 9 to purchase a Chromebook.” Infurna suggested softer language.

“I would like it to say, ‘If you are looking to buy a personal Chromebook for your child,’” she said. “I just think this is a tough year to be asking parents to put out some money to buy their child their own personal Chromebook.”

Ellis said such an approach would likely lead to less students participating, which in turn would complicate the further use of Chromebooks going forward.

“The difficulty with only having some people purchase it is that in a classroom setting you want everyone to have a device, and some kids would not have one, some would,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure that the teacher isn’t having difficulty with it.”

Committee member Margaret Driscoll said most parents are already aware of the growing use of technology in schools, and what such devices often cost.

“I see the kids in school, and I see them with devices that cost probably double what a Chromebook would cost,” Driscoll said. “I get the sense that it wouldn’t be a shock.”

Committee member Jennifer McAndrew suggested a few tweaks to the wording of the message could make a big difference. She suggested that the availability of financial assistance could be made clear very early in the message’s text, in conjunction with a reference to the fact that override funds had made the program possible.

Though administrators had hoped for a vote on the policy, Infurna suggested tabling it until the committee’s May 21 meeting. The committee agreed, making discussion of any changes, and a final vote, likely for that date.