"JAG4908/14/15 05:42 AM
"We're one crisis away from having to make really tough decisions?" Isn't that what city leaders are suppose to do?"
Melrose voters to weigh $2.25m override
By Brenda J. Buote Globe Correspondent August 12, 2015
Mayor Robert J. Dolan has been stumping for the $2.25 million override.
In a move usually reserved for towns and rare for cities, Melrose Mayor Robert J. Dolan is urging residents to approve a Proposition 2½ override to support school and public safety needs.
Voters will decide on the proposed property tax increase during the Nov. 3 city election.
In a series of small gatherings this summer, the mayor has been courting voters, telling seniors, charter school parents, and young families that his proposed $2.25 million override is necessary for the “long-term financial health of our community.”
Although the bulk of the new revenue would go to the city’s public schools — to hire new teachers, eliminate a structural deficit in the school budget, and pay for professional development, digital materials, and curriculum resources — the mayor insists “this is not a school override, it’s a city of Melrose override. It affects where we live, where we’re going as a city.”
The override would add $244 to the annual tax bill of a single-family home with the city’s average assessed value, $428,146.
Melrose voters last approved a tax override 23 years ago. The $3 million property tax increase passed in November 1992 by a narrow margin, with 7,748 votes in favor to 7,385 against.
The vote this fall on the mayor’s proposed tax increase will probably be very close as well, according to residents on both sides of the issue.
“I have not heard or read anything that would convince me that the money raised in additional property taxes would be spent in any way that would quantifiably raise student outcomes,” said Patricia Wright, 52, noting that many residents, from seniors on fixed incomes to families struggling to make mortgage payments and put food on their tables, can ill afford higher tax bills.
“We all have to tighten our belts, and the city and the schools should do the same,” said Wright, an outspoken critic of the Dolan administration who fears that in future years the additional revenue would “be squirreled away into the city’s revolving accounts, where there is no transparency.”
Proponents of the proposed override said the tax increase is necessary to ensure Melrose is self-sufficient and can weather dips in state and federal aid while meeting the challenges posed by the city’s shifting demographics, as young families flock to the city and cause a surge in the number of elementary school students.
“We’re one crisis away from having to make really tough decisions,” said Jennifer McAndrew, 41, chairwoman of Yes for Melrose, a committee that was formed in May to support the mayor’s Proposition 2½ override proposal. “Whether it’s your family, your community, or your business, I think waiting until you’re in crisis mode is not wise.”
McAndrew said she thinks the $750,000 structural deficit in the School Department’s budget must be closed “in order for the city as a whole to make decisions about investing in other areas,” from parks and playgrounds, and services for veterans and seniors to road repairs and other infrastructure improvements, such as a new roof for the city’s public library.
Brenda J. Buote may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sycophant brigade has its troops dispensing the koolaid. Too bad none of it synchs with the truth. Apparently the gullible ones would rather drink the rainbows and unicorns than understand what is really happening. The lawsuits and investigations--federal and state--tell a very different picture than the fairy tale being told.
These "Yes" folks and their twaddle think they can mow over the truth and get more out of our pockets for their specious "reasons" (that don't hold water).
from the so-called "Facts"
"Laying groundwork for Kindergarten paraprofessionals"
Who do they think they're kidding???!!!
"Eliminating the current structural deficit in the school budget"
which isn't a "deficit" at all except as defined by the incompetent and ethically challenged finance managers of the district and city as a way of manipulating how it is portrayed.
"Instructional Coach"? "Academic Facilitator"? "Interventionist"? Enough of this. When we see evidence that the administration is hiring qualified teachers (who don't need coaching or facilitating!) and achieving meaningful improvement across the district, then there will be some credibility. Look at the actual stats online. They aren't a flattering picture of this administration or school committee!
As of the last few years, the community at large knows full well that the Melrose Public Schools are a mess, starting at the top! It's time for citizens to be the Interventionists and demand real accountability and results from this overpaid bunch of charlatans who have hurt our school system and now want to fleece us even more than they have already. You do realize, don't you, that last year the superintendent asked for $2 million more than the previous year?! And that was before adding in the half mil for textbooks and the various other things she went back to the till to demand from the aldermen OUTSIDE of the budget process?!!! And all this was done with a straight face by the mayor, the SC, the BOA!
With all the smoke and mirrors that front-page coverage continues to reveal about the SC, the mayor, and city solicitor going to hugely expensive and great lengths to hide what is actually public information, all of us should be screaming bloody murder. Federal civil rights investigations? Lawsuits (many of which are being quietly "settled" by insurance that none of us will ever have a clue about thanks to the community's passivity in allowing this bunch of nefarious officials free reign)? Doesn't anyone care about the truth? Maybe the schools would have plenty of money for their fictional "deficits" if they weren't paying so many lawyers and consultants to defend indefensible bad acts!
Melrose realtors may have fooled some national realty statisticians, but let's not let the whole world know just how dumb Melrose really has been. Let's show that the truth actually does matter, that our kids actually do matter, that we demand real improvement (not this fake stuff passing for improvement), that we demand real accountability and put an end to this damaging and false campaign. Let's pull our community back together based on acknowledging truth and making things better.
Are we still paying health insurance for alderman? Voting no !
Does anyone else find it weird that the Treasurer of Dolan's Yes Brigade lists a Dedham address? I am increasingly astonished that these supposedly intelligent, well-educated people still can't see the forest for the trees, and actually believe the propaganda spouted by the Dolan administration. It is absolutely true that you get the government you deserve, and by allowing themselves to be led around by the nose like this with no regard at all for reality, these super-mommies enable Dolan to continue this pitiful charade. I wonder how they'd feel if it was their kid that was told to go back to the plantation? I also wonder how they'll feel when, should this travesty of an override actually be approved, Dolan kicks them to the curb after they've outlived their usefulness to him? Make no mistake - this is ALL about him trying to fix the mess the schools are in and covering his own butt - a mess he's had a very large part in creating and continuing - on the backs of the taxpayers. He will do absolutely anything to avoid having to admit he's wrong. Does anyone find it odd that this downward spiral of the schools coincides exactly with the charter change putting him, our very own self proclaimed education expert, on the SC?
Conveniently omited it that the last attempted override in 2003 was defeated by 3 to1.