Is it possible that the preliminary budget presented by the school committee is not some nefarious and evil plot, but simply an exercise in showing what is truly needed to begin to restore the many positions and programs that have been cut in past year. No one truly thinks there is a magical wand that is going to make that money appear, but we as taxpayers need to understand that level funding of a budget full of mandates, requirements and contractual obligations is a CUT. It's tiring to hear the same message from Mr. Lukatch again and again. (I admire his time management skills that he has the time to attend all of these hearings and write so many letters.). Mr. Lukatch, please offer some solutions. The town needs solutions, not the endless circle of criticism we all seem to be stuck in. I hear you have a background in finance -- what do you think? Beyond accusations, what solutions can you propose? Folks would like to hear some ideas. View Comment
MsB - there is now full day kindergarten for all who want it. The only lottery is for location. Most of the students go to Beal, but there are some classes at Spring and Coolidge this year. We laid off 30 people last year - including one first grade and one fourth grade teacher at Spring and Paton each. There was no money to save those teachers (retirements kept a few jobs, but not classes). There are 30 children in every 4th grade class at Spring. First grades have nearly 30 as well. We probably won't get back the teachers we lost last year, but I just hope we don't lose any more. View Comment
You missed my point, Mr. Lowry, or maybe I didn't make it clear in trying to stay brief: ALL of our departments are in serious trouble. The fire chief has made that very clear and we need to find more funding to support that department as well. My point is that the school department shouldn't be the lighting rod nor the solution to every fiscal crisis. We can't cut fire any more than we have. We can't cut police any more -- but we can't find the money to help those departments "hidden" in the school department line items either. We don't have enough money to adequately fund any of these essential departments. Rather than pit on against another, I think folks are trying to show (at least I am!) that we need to find a way to bring in more revenue...and complaining that it's all Beacon Hill's fault doesn't get us closer to solutions, nor does mocking Dr. Sawyer. He knows they're not going to get the 4mil - but anything less than 2 mil is more cuts. The budget process is just beginning and each department head asks for what it would take to fully fund their department and to restore what has be already lost. They know they're not getting it all, but it's a place to start at. Lots of discussion yet to come, but it's not all the school's problem, and the schools certainly don't get "all" the money. View Comment
Enough with saying the school department is hiding things! That tired argument is completely untrue. All of our municipal departments have lean budgets. The schools are an easy target because they're the biggest. When insurance costs go up for 1,000 employees, it's a much larger bump than in a department with 10! Enough sarcasm and insinuation. It's time for our town to figure out how to pay for what we as a community value. It's really not a spending problem - it's a revenue problem. Where are your solutions for that "krobkoe." If you've got all the answers, please share some constructive ones rather than slamming newcomers to town. View Comment
Isn't Mr. Tartaglia's mantra to "live within your means?" If SELCO needs to cut costs, unfortunately, discounts are an appropriate place to close budget gaps. Cable tv is a nice-to have feature in many people's lives, but is by no means a necessity. We CAN choose to live without cable tv.
And the pay-as-you-throw issue has really proven to be a non-issue. I'm as cheap as they come, but do think it's fair that I pay for my trash. I make more than my elderly neighbor, therefore I should and do pay more.
We can't have it both ways, Mr. T. If you want town departments to live within what you think are their means, they have to cut costs. The school department isn't the only department where can can be made. View Comment
Um, Mr. Lowry...you might want to check this news source - a very good article on what is happening at our underfunded fire department. All of our departments are suffering and damaging any one of them further does not solve the problem, only exacerbates it. We need new revenue. We have already cut too far. View Comment
Did you attend the meeting jobel? If you weren't one of the 100+ people in the room, how can you possibly say that anything is "clear?" I was there to see what it was all about and found it to be just that, factual.
There is a great deal of misinformation out in the public about the state of our town's budget and the intent of the group to to give people who aren't as involved and don't visit the Town Hall daily access to clear and factual information. Look at the group's website. It's not an interpretation of facts, it's the links to the actual budget documents and studies. Where's the bias in that?
I think the Shrewsbury Advocates group is necessary and helpful. Your negative comments are not. View Comment
However, the expenses of the town continue to increase. Unless we find additional sources of revenue, the only means to pay for the services Shrewsbury expects and demands is taxation. Historically our voters have rejected projects that might have brought additional (non residential tax) revenue to town. We vote as if we wish to be a bedroom community, therefore we need to live with the consequences or start voting with a broader view of the world. View Comment
If the reporter was paying attention, Article 14 was NOT monies for renovations, rather, it was funds to pay for studies and architectural drawings to reflect the community's desire for library plans 10% smaller than before. I know the reporter is new to town, but the content of the article was printed in the handouts. At least read them before reporting on Town Meeting. In addition, the out-of-context "quotes" of comments are also misleading. This article is a disservice to anyone who might rely on this site for actual news. View Comment
And it makes sense to cancel the scarecrows, why?? People enjoy those during the day, and I'm pretty sure that our creations on the common can't catch EEE. Hyteria wins over common sense. Again. View Comment