There is chatter around about having another override. I personally would like this to be voted on when we have a Mayor in office that the residents have voted on. This cannot be hastily done. There needs to be a plan better than the last one. It will fail again if we do not know where this money will be allocated. I will not vote for more administrators. I feel that everything in this town is done in haste. So no long range plan and look what happened with the modular classrooms. Still not enough space. WE NEED A PLAN! I knew we were in trouble with overcrowding a couple of years ago when all the condos and apartments went up. Not everyone wants to own a home ! It will be a tough sell with residents complaining about our astronomical water bills that also have a $50 per quarter tax ! This cannot be a quick fix.
If an Override vote is attempted, it should coincide with a 2020 Mayoral election.
Anyone who runs for Mayor should have to defend an Override as part of their platform.
Unless Pymore Taymore resigns my family (with children in the schools) will not support it.
Any Override led by Illegitmate Gail will fail.
I'm sick of the schools wasting so much money.
What about the fire and police stations?
I wonder exactly what part of "No!" these halfwits do not understand?
I'll second that, because here we go again. Watching the "public hearing", and seeing a procession of one-trick ponies come to the mike and say essentially the same thing - "more money, more money, more money" - it makes one wonder how people can really think that throwing more and more money at this issue could possible make any kind of positive difference. We've thrown untold millions at the schools already, and nothing has changed, nor will anything change until we rid ourselves of those who have driven the system into the ground, and we all know who those people are.
One definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.
So to all the MEF mommies, not only no, but hell no. Enough already. Not one more penny. Not now, and not for the foreseeable future.
Infurna certainly showed her true colors, didn't she? Listening to her get the ball rolling for another override attempt made me want to vomit. I knew she was a shill for Taymore, but I am moderately surprised that she is ignorant of the already stated will of the voters who resoundingly defeated the last override swindle attempt.
GI has always been a Taymore lap dog. Can't imagine her exchange with Patrick regarding the entire budget. She never understood municipal finance on the BOA, only asked simple questions and voted the way she was told. The current fiscal crisis is not in good hands. At least Zwirko works in the financial industry. The female BOA members may regret their anointing of Gail who is in way over her head. She may also regret that she stabbed MZ in the back. Taxpayers always suffer with interim placeholders who don't have the authority, respect or validity to lead. And GI doesn't have the capabilities to lead either. Looks like Melrose may start another nasty Override mess which will only further divide us and result in another defeat. Yuck!
All we've done for years is throw money at the schools for useless projects that have literally no bearing on education. We have a police building that is making people sick, a fire station with part of a floor so dangerous it can't be used, and what are we hearing from our esteemed leaders? They want a library renovation and another override attempt for the schools.
We've been suffering for years from total incompetence, but this latest boondoogle is approaching criminal malfeasance. It's really pretty clear that they are cooking the books, but they can't even do that convincingly.
It's not bad enough that we have to listen to Taymore lecture the SC and B of A on their responsibilities - what an arrogant troll - but now we also have to listen to the shrew McAndrew's proselytizing too. She literally makes me want to puke. And Mayor Infurna? She is an incompetent fool, and a total joke.
We are in a heap of trouble, folks, and it gets worse every day. Dolan must be laughing his a$$ off - the rat who begat this mess, and who jumped off a sinking ship leaving the rest of us to drown.
No more. Not one red cent.
Absolutely NO override. Yes Tim it's me.
Just a thought that will cause a lot of parents to cringe, but if we are desperate for space why not use the school libraries. The kids use it for 1/2 hr once a week. 🤷🏻♀️
For a truly revolting look at the gullibility and sheer stupidity of so many Melrose parents, one need look only as far as that silly so-called "Melrose Community Page" on Facebook, with literally hundreds of the lemmings chiming in about the poor, impoverished Melrose school system. It really is a stunning display and reveals the extent of the illness among the parent population. They are such an entitled, superficial bunch, so sure of themselves and they half-baked nonsense they all buy and then rehash, over and over and over again. Some of the worst don't even live in Melrose anymore, including one of the so-called admins, who is supremely sanctimonious about all things Melrose even though she and her well-heeled family pulled up stakes and booked it to Reading because they were so disgusted and alarmed by the state of the Melrose school system and its utterly corrupt administration (but she carefully conceals that as she tells us all about our options re the trumped-up space/enrollment problem). These people are incredible in their know-it-all attitude and obvious ignorance of actual facts. Many if not most of them have college degrees, even though their lame remarks betray ignorance and the need to follow, rather than anything approaching intelligent consideration of the facts. They are mostly all drinking the koolaid, and yes, you can bet they are supporters of the "go back to the plantation" superintendent and school committee (including those phonies proclaiming Social Justice and Women's Equity on the Commission for Women and the fake Human Rights Commission). Wringing hands and proclaiming the need for more money is the sad old song, and they're buying it/singing it, hook, line, and sinker!
Thank you Grossed Out. Makes me sick as well. Not so much new people to the community who don't know any better because they haven't been here long enough but to those who chose to turn a blind eye and cover up.
Don't count on the new Mayor to make a difference, unless it's to make things even worse. Infurna was not as dangerous as an Alderman - she was only one of eleven. But as Mayor she is an absolute menace - thanks again, Charter - and having her on the SC as well is a recipe for disaster. She's already, without saying the word, endorsed another override proposal. "We need help." she lamented. You need help alright, Gail, but unfortunately the kind of help you needs doesn't come with a dollar sign in front of it.
Mayor, get your face out of Taymore's a$$. We'll all be a lot better off, including you.
Keep trying to shove an override down our throats, and we'll keep telling you to shove it up your...........nose!
Better yet could we have a conversation about hiring an expert to look at our SPED budget and figure out how to align it more closely with other districts in the state?
Don't underestimate Taymore.Real issues at hand is the budget .
"chatter about an override"
The city bureaucracy is always having chatter about an override. There are of course a few problems, at least:
1. We have an existing debt exclusion for the middle school to pay off. Someone who is actually interested in passing an override would be wise to actively work out when that debt would be paid off and tie in any new debt exclusion or override proposal to *follow* that pay off. That requires work and patience, however, items in short supply among them that are in need of them.
2. Dolan's urgency for the most recent, failed, override was a grab-bag of non-essential items, which signalled to all but his fan-base that there was not really an urgent need at all. And, lo, somehow after the override failed, money was still found for a variety of purposes that was not somehow expected when the override was proposed. Which reinforced the sense among many Melrosians who've lived here long enough to see the carousel that this was somewhat bogus.
3. Then last year there was the library proposal and an unclear determination about whether grant-making would be complemented by a debt exclusion proposal. Not sure where that stands because, you know, our local press never presses for follow-through on such things until City Hall has lined up behind a story it wishes to pitch.
4. Rinse and repeat with the police & fire building proposals.
5. Now bleating for an override.
Meanwhile, most Melrosians saw a significant increase in their property taxes when the final valuations hit the FY2018 assessments. Plus, despite the pause in water/sewer rate increases last year without making any other reforms (other than allowing monthly billing opt-ins this winter), many Melrosians that I talk to find the Surprise! Surprise! aspect of water/sewer bills a major factor in their unwillingness to take on the Surprise! Surprise! factor of an override/debt exclusion. (One thing we learned from the last time is that, no matter what City Hall provides as an "estimate", it actually ends up being notably higher once the process of bonding is completed. So take those estimates as low balls. Someone proposing these things should take the responsibility to have a good calculator app provided at the Assesor's website and then offer to resign if actuals are materially higher than the estimator estimated.)
Plus we have (1) a school administration that has lost a lot of trust, and (2) a weak BOA that is rightly seen as merely a rubber stamp for the Mayor's office and thus not a credible vetter of these proposals.
That said, Gail Infurna should realize that her erstwhile successors would LOVE for her to take on the thankless task of proposing these likely-to-fail things, so she's probably being fed lots of delicious cherry-picked pieces of information that would trigger her to do that. If Gail reads this (unlikely), I would suggest to her that she realizes how vulnerable she is to being used in this way given that she's a lame duck.
That's my 2 cents.
Just read Mr. Conway's letter regarding the budget. He is stating smaller enrollment for a few years Has there ever been a discussion about moving 5th grade to the Middle School? This would certainly free up a lot of space in elementary schools.
So now the middle school Principal sends out an email to send the city in panic mode. We must have override. Oh no we might have to have a jr high instead of a middle school Heaven forbid. Many generations made it out of jr high with what seems like more knowledge than children have today. Robbie must have known this was coming which is why he bailed. Either that or he needed the extra pay in anticipation of his taxes going up. Infurna was put in there to be nothing more than Robs lackey. Remember the hundreds of apartment buildings put up over the last few years they told us would help the tax base? Well I would like to sknow where the help is. All it's done is congested our city, made downtown parking impossible and now it's beginning to put a strain on our resources by overcrowding the schools. It'll be mostly single people and dinks using the commuter rail to go to work they said. First off there is more section 8 in at least the Oak Grove apartments than we were told. It was supposed to be 11% affordable income. Which means if you don't MAKE a lot of money your rent is reduced. Never did they say there''d be welfare apartments. 2nd of all the young couples that live in there add nothing to the sense of community Melrose used to have. I live on one of the Mt Vernons. I walk my dog along Main St. I use the track at PB. These couples walk by, jog by, never a good afternoon, never a smile, just kind of look and turn away as they walk to and from downtown with coffee cup in hand. They are looking for people like them, young, democrat, let's change and save the world kind of people. They want nothing to do with the older, fatter, you don't think like me people who have been here for generations. They won't hesitate to be put one of those "simply chic" new "open to all" stickers on their car. (What kind of slogan is that anyway? Is it implying other communities aren't? Because it seems to me that Malden is much more open to all than Melrose) So here we are, ten years after Robbie said our tax base would be better, in the worst situation we've been in in a long time. So let's raise taxes. Raise them so the retirees on fixed incomes have to go with less food for the month to pay more taxes, so we can truly price 95% of working people out of the city. Who can afford an $800,000 home and the higher taxes that will go along with it?
Open to All! Hmmmph
If there are indeed “open to all” bumper stickers, they should be revised to read “open to all, closing to some”. I never thought I’d ever have to leave where I grew up, but as the saying goes, “ Think again!”
Have we made the police station handicapped accessible yet ?????
No. You have to press a button on a pole next to the sidewalk and hope someone is paying attention inside while you stand or sit out in the weather.
Reviewed this budget and it looks like the HS is taking the biggest financial hit. Hmmm, I don't see reductions to SPED? It also appears that reductions to ECC, ELM, MVMMS are smaller in proportion than at the HS. No need to worry about those pesky HS kids when money can be allocated to the 3 year olds at the ECC.
Ridiculous that Conway sent out that email trying to garner fear and anxiety from parents about the possibility of no more teams at MVMMS. Geez, wasn't it just last year that these people were pushing for 5th graders at MVMMS and that was all positioned as fine and dandy? Now that they are all trying to plant the seed for another override any change or cut is a huge disaster and an unthinkable and heartbreaking decision. Pleeze! Only idiots will be fooled by these people and their scare tactics.
It isn't just people being fooled by these scare tactics. There is a special interest group, the parents of young children. Some of them may be fooled, but the majority of them are only thinking about their own kids at the expense of everyone else. Dolan knew that was their mindset, and he pandered to it. Taymore and Infurna are doing the same thing again, and will continue to do it until they are stopped once and for all.
They lost the last override attempt because people finally saw through it and realized they were being handed a bill of goods. They were exposed last time as wanting money for absolutely non-specific and non-essential stuff, but unfortunately people bought the lies about the need for that imbecilic debt exclusion. This time the tactic has changed - now it's back to the doom and gloom scenario. Chief among those were the Mayor, The School Super, and people like McAndrew, who all outright lied in their support of it. They lied then, and there's no reason to expect or even hope they've changed their colors. Unfortunately, the MEF'ers and the rest of the special interest group went to the polls in higher numbers, and got McAndrew elected to the SC. Before she was just a liar. Now she's really dangerous.
These people DO NOT care about you. All they are interested in is squeezing every last dime they can out of you, whether you can afford it or not. Case in point - they are raping us on water and sewer, and they have not the slightest hesitation about doing the same thing for the schools. They, unlike the rest of us, think they don't have to live within their means. They are quite happy to keep reaching into our pockets, and they could care less what the consequences to the rest of us are.
How about this? Instead of a citywide override, institute a surcharge on the parents of kids currently in the system. Then the parents of the kids who are in the system currently would be footing the bill, while those who have none in the system won't be forced to subsidize the foolishness of that special interest group. When your kid ages out of or abandons the system, you are then no longer liable for the surcharge. I can only imagine the hue and cry that would erupt from them if that were to be the case.
Would that serve to further divide the city? Most likely, and a lot will lament that until the cows come home, but personally I don't give a $hit. I don't see how the city can be any further divided than it already is, and I simply cannot afford to subsidize this horse$hit any longer. I'm tapped out. It isn't enough to just keep defeating these weasel override attempts - it's time for a full on taxpayer revolt.
My Melrose property taxes have gone up by more than 50% on an inflation-adjusted basis over the past decade, and my modest home's value has not. Much of the disproportionate increase is due to the debt exclusion and previous override (which I did vote for, but I now understand through painful experience how the information that was provided to voters at that time was materially deficient and flawed; if we're going to through this again, we should demand much more accurate and useful information for which those proposing an override/debt exclusion publicly should be held publicly accountable).
Moral of the story: newbies to Melrose, do not trust City Hall and its minions to give voters complete and accurate information - what you will get will be carefully cherry-picked in a way that allows City Hall to evade accountability - on that you may count. Any project for which an override or debt exclusion is sought should be tightly bound to its own bottom, as it were, so that there's no material wiggle room in repurposing of funds and so that there are clear metrics for accountability - your Board of Alderman has confessed that it's weak and unable to force the Mayor's office to do anything it doesn't want to do, so do not rely on your alderman to be a proper check and balance.
(And that's not even touching the whole issue of accountability for the mismanagement of our School administration.)
The Board of Aldermen is not just weak. It is fully complicit.
Of course. I was trying to be charitable.
Where is all the money for schools going? Kids are paying $300 to play sports, teachers are already some of the lowest paid, it's a joke whenever they get a raise. Substitutes, if they can even find any, certainly are. Paras are disgustingly low paid for everything they ask them to do. So where? Where is it? This is a question we all need to ask before we agree to give them more of our hard earned money to spent frivolously and without accountability. In typical democratic fashion, like Obama who doubled the debt, it was a free for all spending spree the last few years, knowing very well they would bow out before the **** hit the fan. I work hard for my money and I can't afford more taxes on top of the ever increasing water bill. Does anybody, least of all those running the asylum, care? No. Why don't they? Because surprisingly Melrose has been on many lists the past 5 years about what a terrific place to live it is and they know that if I can't afford my house that people will line up to pay more than it's worth to live here. People from all over the country who've seen "the lists". People who have to ask who has the best cannolis, or even what a cannoli is. They love the slogan but never ask themselves how exactly is it one community open to all when paying $800000 for a small home that needs work. Screw the lifers. Screw those who've put their heart and soul into this community. Those who knew everyone by name when they walked into Bread and Bits of Ireland for a sandwich, or a coffee and a scone. Those of us who remember when we had two Friendlys and a Brighams to go to ice cream for instead of now having to wait in line a half hour at Socs or Dairy Delight because they are the only places around. Yes, our sense of community has been lost in the name of progress. No longer does anyone help out of the goodness of their heart but they help in the hope of getting a pat on the back on the Melrose Community Group page. "I found a lost wallet and I know who's it is but I want everyone to know I turned it into the police station". "I saved a woman's life from a wild turkey". Yes, the current and previous Mayor are lifers. They remember these things but like most politicians, they've sold their souls to the devil.
We'll never know where all the money is going because they LIE nonstop. A huge portion of it goes to SPED and ECC. ECC should be a profit turner in my opinion not a big line item in our budget.
As I was driving around town today I saw how horrific our city streets are. They are falling apart. We need handicap entrance to the police dept !!!! That’s just unbelievable. I remember from the last override attempt we were told to “stop buying your Starbucks coffee and support our schools”🙄 Have they discussed removing some of the teacher coaches ? Are they making more than our underpaid teachers. Why do the Alderman still receive health insurance? I truly understand that the schools want more money but everything else in this town is overlooked. There needs to be a PLAN. I did not vote on previous override because of how it was presented. I voted for one years ago and I also voted for middle school but not sure I can support another without a plan for the future. Our elected officials are complaining about overcrowding but they keep on building apartments and condos 🤷🏻♀️
First clean the swamp in Melrose schools just fire them or let them GO! Second the police station would be the first to spend the override money on.
Certainly no debt exclusion or override for school money until the current administration and its cheerleaders are cleaned out. Proposals for the police station should be tightly drawn in detail to prevent repurposing of budget to other matters and so it that there's clear accountability for the project and the accuracy of the estimates provided to the voters being asked to approve it - and only after the middle school bond is paid off and the current boondoggle that is the water/sewer miasma is reformed properly.
And, as a gesture of goodwill, a fully independent forensic review of the city hall culture that allowed the cemetery scandal to blossom under its watch and be hushed up with minimal critical oversight by the BOA. (Oh, and while we're at it, uncover the residue of, um, deposits made to the cemetery by a former city insider & son, now deceased.) Why is that related? Because it speaks to how City Hall can't be trusted unless there's LOTSA sunshine shed into all of its cozy crevices. (Newbies to Melrose may not understand, but Melrose city government has a long sorry history of cozy hushing up of embarrassing things and covering up for fellow insiders.)
that being said it makes you wonder what the new fire chief did for the dough:joy:
That’s just unbelievable.
Watching for new leadership in the City of Melrose .
Oh what fun, someone actually referred to the now deceased former alderman and some oil tanks of the firefighter offspring that are allegedly deposited where the sun don't shine. And of course there are other co-conspirators who have yet to be exposed. Mueller would have a field day with the stench of this Melrose swamp! Then there's the totally illegal Emergency Fund being run through the city coffers with exactly zero accountability, and votes having been bought with payments to rent/mortgage of certain favorites, Shaw's and Target gift cards given out willy-nilly, again straight from the city coffers (absolutely illegal and impossible to document/verify legally as anything being channeled through legitimate tax-exempt entities would have been). All this and so much more (Retirement Board shenanigans, school system boondoggles galore, and on and on) under the "watchful eye" (right!) of the oily CFO and all the RD's dutiful dwarves. The filth and slime of all the Revolving Fund slush funds has allowed RD to buy the sycophant votes, but at some point he must have figured it was too close to being exposed. Watching the school budget fiasco, it becomes more and more clear (for those who pay attention and don't drink the koolaid) just how desperately Melrose needs a full forensic audit!
Problem Solved. Put 10-15 teachers on the water department payroll. Then jack up the water bills again. Easy Peazey. I would use the science teachers. They most likely teach about environmental issues and water retention.
Great idea. Does Melrose even have any actual science or math teachers remaining, though? They've eliminated the individual Science and Math Dept Chairs, along with others, doing a hack job at pretending to have an academically viable structure. The MHS cheerleading idiot parents (Darwin is very misnamed!) seem to think that everything is EXCELLENT in all caps, so maybe the prevailing thought (if one could call it that) is that MHS students are already so great they don't need individual department chairs for trivial subject areas like math or science or social studies or the arts. You can be sure there would be hell to pay if cuts were ever made to the athletics department, though, for these dimwit parents. They are the sort who persist in thinking that their geniuses are going to get sports scholarships and end up in the NFL, after all, since obviously even they know (or should) that the SAT scores will be pathetic overall, and that costly private or state schools are typically the only options for the majority of even the top 20 percent. Some are even deluded into thinking that MHS' Taymore-blessed "pathways" will lead the prodigies straight from Intro to Guitar at MHS straight through to Broadway and Hollywood and Carnegie Hall. It's all such a fool's mess. Go Red Raiders! Make sure you have your "Tommyhawks"! (direct Taymore quoted misusage). Melrose students are so screwed.
What up with the $700,000 accounting error? Love the way that was slipped in as if it weren't a problem.
Hey, it's only a 1.5% mistake.
700k here, 700k there - pretty soon you're talking real money.
That's called sarcasm, folks, for those who didn't get it. How much did they "find" last year? Wasn't it 850k or something like that?
The first public participant must have said "I want" about 10 times. You could easily substitute "more money" for every item on her list. The second speaker was a little less cryptic. She at least came right out and said it. And on, and on, and on.
What part of I can't afford it do you people not understand? We've thrown millions and millions of dollars at the schools and it has been completely squandered on bells and whistles. They proclaim to be proponents of education and fiscal responsibility, and yet they display no understanding of either.
An earlier post made a suggestion that I at first found way out of the box, but the more I think about it, the more it makes a certain sense. "Instead of a citywide override, institute a surcharge on the parents of kids currently in the system. Then the parents of the kids who are in the system currently would be footing the bill. When your kid ages out of or abandons the system, you are then no longer liable for the surcharge."
Nope, I have no interest in these callow newbies' problems. As I explained to one deluded young lady who buttonholed me at the Victorian Fair a couple years ago to ask for my help "fighting to pass the override", what kind of idiot sells their home in Boston/Somerville/wherever and pays $40K over asking to buy a home in a quiet community to start a family without a full and thorough investigation of the schools and, more importantly, the community's support for the schools?
That's a pretty good question, even though it's actually rhetorical, since the answer is self-evident.
They are beginning now to understand just how much of a bill of goods they were sold by the realtors, and are panic stricken. What they continue to forget, or are too stupid to realize, is the realtors are the sellers agent, and will say absolutely anything to get the sale, with little or no regard for the truth, and in Melrose it's even worse than in other places, because the city government is in cahoots with them.
Dolan and his "legacy" - it's starting to look somewhat tarnished, isn't it? He must be laughing his ass off.
I agree with the prior poster - don't think I'm going to bail you out because you didn't do your due diligence. I've got enough problems of my own dealing with the larceny I suffer each time I get a water/sewer bill.
Melrose ranks ninth to lowest in the state of Massachusetts for per-pupil spending. That's absolutely pathetic.
That's a gross misrepresentation. The PPS doesn't take into account the bonded spending, like the umpteen millions for that stupid learning commons. If you know you have a major student population increase coming, why would any sane person spend that kind of money for something like that, especially since we have such a small commercial base?
Again, no due diligence on the part of the neuvo-Melrosians. If they had done their research, as anyone with a brain would have done before spending 850k on a 6 room cape, they would have seen that as a gigantic red flag. Instead, they chose to buy into the Melrose Myth, and now they want me to subsidize their foolishness.
I'm surprising myself by saying this, but the "surcharge" proposed by 'Caution' earlier is sounding more and more like the only viable option for the school system to get more needed(??) money. There is just no more blood in the stone!
It makes a lot of sense. How many kids in the system, around 3500? There's over 1000 at the HS alone. A surcharge of $300 per kid would raise over a million bucks.
After all, it's the parents with school kids who are clamoring for more. Let's see them put their money where their mouths are. And it's not in perpetuity, either, like that last override proposal was. When your kids are done, you're done paying.
The surcharge idea may sound like a logical solution, but it's actually unconstitutional. Public school is to be supported by the public at large, not just those with children in the school. That is not how it works. It wouldn't be public school at that point, just another private school. The United States Constitution commands that education is a central right of the country. Now if only those in the federal government appropriately allocated funding for that basic function of government, instead of allocating many times more for the Pentagon than all the countries of the world combined.
In the Plyler v. Doe case, Texas attempted to bar the children of "illegal" or "undocumented" individuals from access to public schools. The 14th Amendment requires that when a State has a public education system, no child living in that state can be denied access to those schools.
The Constitution does not guarantee free public education to anyone. If it did, the use of tax dollars to pay for it, since some of those dollars are paid by the parents of those being educated, would be unconstitutional. There is no such thing as "free" public education, nor is there a guarantee of such.
In 1973, in San Antonio v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court ruled that "Though education is one of the most important of services performed by the state, it is not within the limited category of rights recognized by this Court as guaranteed by the Constitution."
In this case, no one is denying anyone access to the Melrose school system. This system cannot afford to fund the kind of things that these proponents of more funding are saying they want for their children. Some districts can afford more, some much less. Those disparities, though unfortunate, are reality. The fact is that no one will be denied access. I see no constitutional prohibition, though, against giving these parents what they say they want over and above what the system can afford to pay, as long as those parents shoulder the additional cost.
Our public schools, deficient or not, are supported by the public at large, and no one is denied access. Asking those who want "extra" to pay for those "extras" is not unconstitutional by any measure.
Whoopee. We have smart boards, a learning common, and modulars. What we stupidly sacrificed to get them is all the things these people are asking for now. Maybe they should have spoken up sooner instead of blindly supporting all these cockamamie expenditures. The increase in student population has been known about for years, but they all bought into the propaganda that everything was just dandy. It was a lie, which has now been exposed.