Letter to the Editor: Vote 'Yes' on Overrides at Monday's Special Election
Diane Hallisey and Maryalice Whalen, co-chairman of the Medfield Warrant Committee ask voters to say "yes" to two overrides on Monday's ballot.
The Town of Medfield will hold a Special Election next Monday, May 23rd to consider two separate funding issues for the town. The first item on the ballot will be a request for approval of an operational override of $500,000 to fund the town’s current budget shortfall, which has resulted from continued reductions in state aid, reductions in local receipts and ever increasing costs associated with contractual health and retirement benefits.
We have been able to avoid an operational override for the past two years by level funded budgets, reducing personnel costs through attrition and taking advantage of any stimulus funding for which we qualify. Unfortunately, the cost to operate the town continues to outpace our revenue stream. We cannot sustain further cuts to the town’s budgets without drastically affecting the necessary services that the citizens of Medfield have come to expect from both its schools and municipal departments.
The second item is a request for approval of a Proposition 2 ½ debt exclusion override, to exclude the annual debt service payments on the bond issue from the calculation of the tax levy limit, in order to construct a new Public Works Facility for the town. In 2008, the town voted to appropriate $1.1 million for final design plans, construction documents, site work and other items necessary to prepare for the replacement of the Department of Public Works Town Garage. The current state of the town garage is deplorable and it can no longer house all of the equipment necessary to properly maintain our roadways. With our outstanding debt declining, combined with historically low interest rates, lower construction costs and the Town’s AA1 bond rating, we are well positioned to move forward with the building of our Public Works Facility.
There are discussions that interest rates may start to increase and that municipal bonds may lose their advantageous tax status. After a presentation by DPW head Ken Feeney and much thoughtful discussion on the floor, the citizens at the Annual Town Meeting approved a $10 million appropriation to be funded by bonds over 20 years. This ballot question must pass in order to allow the funding of the Public Works Facility to move forward.
We ask that you carefully consider both of these important ballot questions on Monday and ask you to vote “yes” on both items.
Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Center at Medfield on Ice House Road.
Diane Hallisey and Maryalice Whalen
Co-Chairman of the Warrant Committee