Letter to the residents of Medfield
At the Town Meeting held Monday, October 7th the Selectman supported a vote for the town to spend $1.9 million, inclusive of bond interest, on 30.8 acres of land. A comment was made that a $22 average tax increase is not significant and you can buy a decent bottle of red wine or buy some coffee and bagels at Blue Moon. That completely misses the point. It is still $1.9 million that could be spent on much more pressing issues.
The Town of Medfield needs to carefully consider its priorities. The cost of living in Medfield is going to go up and to what extent is very uncertain. We know that the town is facing an unfunded retiree healthcare liability and pension liability of approximately $40 - 50 million to be funded by a debt override vote. A new police/fire building, Parks & Recreation Center and renovations to schools could cost taxpayers an additional $40+million. This does not include the big elephant in the room that is the State Hospital Land Acquisition– likely to be funded by yet another debt override vote.
We have the opportunity to vote NO to the town spending $1.9 million on a “nice to have”, and YES to the potential of $150,000 or more in annual new tax revenue from these new high end homes.
The proposed building project leaves 26.7 of the 30.8 acres untouched. We get open space and we get $150,000 or more annually. Yes, these 7 new homes will bring a handful of new students, but considering that our school enrollment is down by 13% and projected to be down by a few hundred more by 2017-2018, this is a non-issue. If the school budget did not go down with the subtraction of over 300 students from the system, why would it go up when adding back 10 or 12? It won’t. These 10 or 12 new students can easily be absorbed into the system.
Below are some links that describe the extent of the unfunded liabilities, the abundance of existing open lands and the projected decrease in our school population. I encourage you to review the data before voting on Monday, October 21st.
( At bottom of article, select “Medfield”)
(See “unfunded retiree health insurance liability a concern”)
(Note quotes by assistant town administrator Kristina Trierweiler and selectman, Mark Fisher)