According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association’s annual report as reported in the Melrose Weekly News 3/15) , property override attempts are at a 30-year low as cities and towns have roughly doubled their total savings over the past ten years and have tripled the amount they could have raised under 2 1/2 but chose not to. 351 cities and towns showed just 20 Prop 2 1/2 override votes in fiscal 2018 the lowest number since 1990.
In the past 15 years, Melrose has had two failed overrides, one debt exclusion, and another override now on the ballot. It does not speak well of the City’s ability to keep its fiscal house in order. Instead we hear again, “We’ve got trouble in Melrose City”. The solution from many of the past and present BOA members : MORE money (including tax revenue from pot sales?)
When “Professor” Harold Hill was escaping on the last train out of town, a passenger asked him where he was headed and he replied, “Wherever the people are as green as the money.”
And if it passes, it will only be we old farts who have to move, and who’s going to miss us anyway, we’ve only supported the City with our tax dollars for the last 50+ years!
Hit the nail right on the head Willie.
The post by Drama parents on Patch was striking in how susceptible they are to the extortion tactics of the Mayor and Superintendent. The override is for only teachers and pay raises. Do drama parents really believe you need $5,180,000 to cover a $7,000 item for kids? Why aren't the drama parents outraged that their kids are being used as pawns? My husband and I always go to the musicals, plays, and concerts to support the kids and have a good time, too. It's unfortunate the politicians disrespect them this way.
The city threatens many other cuts to extort override votes from other constituent groups:
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut back senior senior hours.
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll reduce the senior van
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut the library
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut freshman football.
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut the recreation department.
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll ... the list goes on and on and on.
Notice they aren't threatening any of the below:
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut the Mayor salary and office staff
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut the Superintendent salary or lawyers
Vote $5,180,000 or city workers will have to pay 25% of their health insurance premiums (instead of 16%)
Vote $5,180,000 or the two people buying votes for the mayor will be laid off
Vote $5,180,000 or they'll cut money from all the hidden slush funds.
Too bad there are people like you in the city. Maybe we don’t want to give $500-600 of our hard earned money to a city government that can’t manage money. Just because an override hasn’t been passed in 25 years or whatever it is doesn’t mean you should vote Yes. I hope this override goes down in flames just like the last one. Voting NO
Don't forget the threat of receivership. Receivership. If the so called (n)one Melrose educational experts had a shred of integrity, they would stop this kind of talk because they know it is mistaken at best and a bold faced lie at worst. The yes people will say anything to attempt to scare voters.
The water rates are scheduled to increase again? The enough of an override for me. The best will be that when people's bills go up, they will be accused of having a leaky toilet. City is full of them I guess.
If there is a 7K item the drama department needs, it could have been funded with the money spent on the paraphernalia the (n)one Melrose bought.
This override is not about helping your neighbor. It is about forcing your neighbor to help you, whether you can afford it or not.
No, I won’t move on. I live here. My kids go to school here. Just because you don’t want to adequately fund City services that shouldn’t be a reason for me to leave. If you really can’t afford $50/month, go use all that equity built up in your home over the past decades and get a loan. Without the override City services will be cut so severely that housing prices will drop over time. You can either pay now or pay later.
Stop being cheap. You have realized the benefits of very low tax rates/tax bills vs. our neighbors for years. Say thank you and realize that isn’t sustainable.
This superintendent needs to go.It is time fire her.
The poster suggesting that homeowners take out loans to pay for increased property taxes, is exactly the problem with the override. FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY.
Spending more that you can afford.
The divisiveness that this issue is causing is indeed unsettling. When someone in my City drives by, blows their horn, and gives me the finger for putting up a sign to express MY opinion, it’s pretty sad!
The negative reaction to the sign could be from either side. I have personally witnessed more attacks on No voters by one Melrose but a no voter could react poorly to a yes sign.
It makes me feel good to see the NO signs up particularly when one is next door to a yes sign. It takes more courage to say NO publicly because the obnoxious one Melrose is relentless with their false rhetoric. I hope they lose.
The proponents/city officials have set the stage and sanctioned this terrible behavior, not the MTA, which is led by a very thoughtful and respectful woman. Sure, the middle finger could have been from either side, but the proponents have set the stage and tone and should bear the responsibility for the toxicity they unleashed and continue to amplify.
When a new SC member approached Mr. M and called him "incredibly disgusting" after his fact-based public comment, she should be held responsible for her unethical conduct that stokes this hateful behavior in ignorant citizens. When Peter M shames seniors for their concerns, he pours gas on the fire. When Kate wields her Ivy status as a way of legitimizing her opinion, and snidely puts down questions or concerns, she encourages the worst of ignorant parents to jump on her bandwagon. When only one official has come out challenging the "facts" or basic premises, there is a huge problem. That's indicative of a closed system and would be unhealthy in any setting. Here it is emblematic of a truly sick city governance that has caused ruinous harm to the culture of the community.
"this whole debate is a condemnation of our sense of community."
Not so sure. I think the Melrose charter as reformed by Dolan made the problem (already bad before he took over) worse in ways that became more obvious over time and under the pressures of a variety of things. The aldermen basically lack accountability because of the "strong mayor" charter, worsened by the way that Dolan reformed it to discourage competition for the mayoral office once someone has been voted in, basically limiting it to retirees and full-time politicians and unwisely extending the mayoral term to 4 yrs, as well as putting the Mayor on the School Committee. All should be reversed.
I mostly agree with you on that both sides could speak more respectfully toward their opposition.
I became a NO voter in 2015 at first because of the heavy handed disrespect that the yes Melrose group was dishing out. Then, I reviewed their fuzzy math and unsubstantiated claims and knew NO was the answer.
This campaign has turned into the same. Initially the know it all big mouths from 2015 stayed behind the scenes and the strategy was to get votes, from anyone and everyone. As the election approaches, some of those 2015 women are popping up and friends of theirs are now writing the letters, flooding social media,and hounding people.
The social media reach has expanded from last time but they still write supportive comments on each other's posts and letters while pretending they are an objective stranger commenting. They even visit Melrose Messages now!
The math stays fuzzy and the claims are still unsubstantiated but the one Melrose continues to harass, personally attack the opposition and spread falsehoods.
The One Melrose has booked the Knights of Columbus on election night for a result gathering
Will they have a grief counselor on hand in case it doesn’t pass.
Melrose patch posted an article showing the nine alderman standing in support. Some of whom took a bribe of health insurance from Dolan for his raise and we are supposed to respect their opinion. We are supposed to believe they know what’s best for the city and it’s residents. The same people who praise, love and defend Melrose daily are of course praising the group. Some of them have egos that need stoking, some of them need people to like them, some are making a statement, and some are just loving life so much and have it all figured out that they think they want to help everyone acheive the same level of happiness. Well everyone is different. Everyone’s family dynamics and financial needs are different. Vote what is best for your family. Don’t let anyone tell you you can afford $50 extra dollars a month. Because the next year it will be $50 more and so on and so on. Melrose will survive without an override. Melrose home values are a combination of location and and charm. If override doesn’t pass home prices are not going to plummet your homes worth nor will we ever be on par with Lexington, Concord and Wellesley. Never were never will be.
Throwing more money at the likes of Taymore, Dello Russo, Van Kampen and aldermen and SC members who've demonstrated a consistent profile of rubber-stamping grabs for more ratepayer money without serious questioning is throwing good money after bad.
1. Fire/retire the above and those who would ape them.
2. Reform the city charter to revert to 2 yr term for mayor, to remove mayor from SC, to remove the prohibition against mayor having other work (so long as subject to limitations due to conflicts of interest), and require that votes on overrides and debt exclusions be held on general election days.
3. Retire the middle school bond.
4. Prepare separate debt exclusion proposals for separate capital construction projects - every tub on its own bottom.
Absolutely love the idea of a 2 year Mayor again. You want to keep voters engaged, then give them something to vote for other than school committee members every two years. It will also keep someone like Dolan from becomeing sompowerful that he changed the charter, and put himself on the school committee.
And I forgot: term limits, for mayor, BOA and SC.
Is it true that GI is going to pull in a pension for her 1.5 years work, especially after not even being elected?
I believe her pension will be paid based on her highest salary with the city. This is obviously the mayor's salary. She's doing alright for herself. Unelected, one issue and a pension for life.
No. She already receives a small pension for her years on the B of A. She had already retired when she became Mayor, but she did try to amend her pension to include her salary for being Mayor for 2 years. Pensions are calculated on the average of your highest three years of salary. The percentage is based on years of service and age at the time of retirement. Needless to say that would have upped the amount of her pension by many many thousands of dollars per year - from approx $2000 now to approx $55000. She was unceremoniously told she could not do that, but she did try. Pretty sleazy. Actually, her pension should have been suspended during her tenure as Mayor, because it far exceeds the allowable amount of earnings. I don't know if it was or not. There is one exception to that earnings limit restriction - if after retiring you attain elective office, there is no restriction. Gee what a surprise - the deck stacked again in favor of politicians. And we're supposed to trust anything she says or does after that? I don't think so.
No trust - are you listening, Come On, Man?
Thank you for explaining what happened @Seriously? I am glad she didn't get it and I'm glad that you have the facts.
Imagine getting a lifetime annual award of $55k/year for a ceremonial job you did for 2 years? Public service. The 2K BOA pension is fine with me.
No, asshat. I'm a member of the retirement system and I learned it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. It's not some kind of secret. She was totally upfront about trying to do it. What's wrong with you?
Just as any family needs to live within its budget so does the city and schools of Melrose, vote no.
stop this waste until they present a plan that address all the issues.
Illegitimate Gail will tank the Override because of her track record and reputation.
The override will only properly fail if everyone gets to the polls and VOTES NO. Don't take it for granted . VOTE NO.
Unbelievable. No, I'm not a Retirement Board member, but even if I were, it would be irrelevant. Retirement Board documents are public record. The fact that I am a retiree gives me a vested interested. That's my money, and I have a right to question when someone tries to grab it if not illegally, then gratuitously.
The "free paper" didn't simply cover the option, because there was and is no option. The only reason they covered it in the first place was because she inquired about it, which she was upfront about. You probably ought to limit your comments to things you actually know something about.
So when you cite your special knowledge as a “member of the retirement system”, you mean you are a random person who happens to be retired? Got it.
It's not special knowledge, it's public record, available to anyone who cares to obtain it. That includes you. But as a retiree, I have a vested interest in knowing when someone tries to get a benefit they aren't entitled to from my pension system. Exactly what part of that do you not understand?
“No, asshat. I'm a member of the retirement system and I learned it from the horse's mouth.”
But please, go on.
Hilarious is so accustomed to secrets being kept regarding personal enrichment via city finances that he or she has trouble accepting that the mayor's pension grab was public. I understand that the siphoning of city funds is usually done behind closed doors but this one was public. No need to pretend it didn't happen. Save that for your more hidden financial city secrets.