To the Editor:
The Selectmen have just proposed a Prop 2 ½ override for $2.1 million dollars to fix Abbot Hall. Surely no one wants town hall to fall down, but here is how the Selectmen can fix Abbot Hall without an override:
If the town borrows $2.1 million to fix Abbot Hall over 20 years at 3.5% the yearly payment is just about $140,000 per year; that is less than1% of the total town budget. (The annual town budget is over $71 Million.)
So the Selectmen can fix town hall themselves without an override if they just put less than 1% of the total town budget towards this very important cause.
However, the Selectmen have a policy whereby they do not spend regular property tax money on long term expenses. They spend all the tax money on yearly expenses and demand overrides to fix big ticket items.
So call the selectmen today at 781-631-0000 and tell them “They let the town's great landmark fall apart, and you want them to use your regular tax money to fix it.”
And do not be fooled by claims that this less than 1% budget reallocation will cause them to layoff teachers, policemen, and firefighters. It is just a scare tactic.
Jack Buba is Treasurer for Marblehead Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility