Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

  1. The primary reason we are voting on this library is simply the availability of a $1.6 million state grant.  We simply would not be here if that grant was not being offered.

    When you raised your children, some of you may have warned them of the candyman, who would lure them into danger by offering them candy or money.

    Along comes the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and dangles a $1.6 million piece of candy and most of you are salivating and some of you are even drooling.  You're thinking, What a wicked bagain!

    Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all being lured into danger of more unnecessary debt ($5 million). Do not spend our money without a compelling reason

    Take the advice you gave your children.  Don't take the bait.

    In addition, the bait will be offered again in four years.  As a town, we've been here for 300 years.  What's the bloody hurry?

  2. According to Antoinette Burrill who has lived in Framingham all her life, the land for the new library was used as an ice skating pond when she was a child.  Apparently it was wetlands.  Does this mean that contruction costs include driving piles to reach bedrock or will we have a floating library? The lot is near a 90 degree turn in the Sudbury River.

  3. The town possesses over 205 disposable parcels of real estate (not to mention 364 others).  These disposable pieces have an assessed value of over $50 million.

    Why not sell some of these to buy a library.  The sale generates future tax income.

  4. Why would any south-side town meeting representative vote for this north-side library? How does it improve the lives of their constituency? They have to drive further and it increases their debt load. What's the upside?

  5. The purchase of additional land takes that land off the tax roles.  The assessed value of one acre of land is now over $800,000 according to my latest tax bill

    The commercial tax rate is nearly $30 per $1000.

    One acre at commercial rates brings in 800 x $30 = $24,000 per year. This value is indexed by 2.5% each year

    Over twenty years, we would lose $642,032 to remove one acre of commercial property.

  6. The function of a library is to allow residents to borrow books. In this situation, we are dramatically expanding the purpose of a library. This is government metastasing.

    It is not the function of a library to provide government controlled public meeting rooms that may discriminate against certain groups.

    It is not the function of a library to provide childcare disguised as childrens reading sessions.

  7. The $5 million the taxpayers will spend will help to create an operational override situation in the near future by diverting funds for other more important purposes .

    A $5 million loan at 5% interest for 20 years will cost us a total of $7.9 million.  The monthly payment will be about $33,000 and the annual payment wil be $396,000.

  8. Why would anyone over 60 want to vote for spending this money. I suspect that I will be dead before this is paid for. Let our children decide if they want the debt. Let's not force it on them.

  9. The rise of the internet and its primary search engine Google, allows over half of the population to do research online which certainly reduces the demand on all libraries.  The internet now has a public domain encyclopedia WikiPedia in multiple languages.

  10. Around 1999, ahead of the high school debt exclusion override of 2000, our superintendent of schools, Mark Smith told us that we would be able to use the HS library as a public facility between 3 PM and 9 PM.  This was stated to induce us to spend what would become nearly $60 million on the high school.

    The high school is less than a mile from the McAuliffe library and has plenty of parking.

  11. The Framingham high school reconstruction had a nine percent cost overrun factor. No one has discussed cost overruns on this project. What happens if there are overruns?

  12. The current McAuliffe library was originally designed for 16,000 books but now contains over 70,000.  If the new library can hold 100,000 books, there is no reason that Tom Gilchrist can't stuff 400,000 books into it and then claim that it's too small.

    The library is not ADA compliant simply because it has far more books than it was designed to hold and perhaps the bathrooms need work..

  13. Following the 80/20 rule, only 20% of the books in the library are frequently checked out.  Make room by placing the other 80% in storage for the Minute Man Library use.

  14. The library is part of the Minuteman library system which allows a person to find a book amongst 40 other libraries in the area including the library at Framingham State College.

  15. The town already spends over 60% of it's resources for the children thru our school budget.  The library advocates (more like fanatics) are using the children to push for more waste.  If the children want more resources, they can pay their own taxes thru their allowances. The childrenconstitute only 13% of the population. We constitute the other 87%.

    Frankly, as an adult who has not yet died, I want resources as an adult, like better garbage collection, better snow plowing of sidewalks, etc.  Libraries do not rank high as a necessity.

  16. I personally took offense at Tom Gilchrist's usage of public facilities and public monies to promote his little bureaucratic turf. For example, On Sunday, January 9th, 2005, he opened the McAuliffe Library so that he could pitch his proposal to the public. The library web site framinghamlibrary.org is paid for with public monies and has a page asking citizens to push for the new library.  The domain name is owned by Tom Gilchrist.  The library building is publicly owned. The session was taped using public equipment, and a video presentation was made using public equipment.

    Thus, I can state that Tom Gilchirst is a self-serving, turf-building, tax wasting bureaucrat.

    The Framingham Library newsletter is paid for by the Friends of the Library and it also pleads with citizens to influence their town meeting members.

    Imagine if you will if every public official was as self-serving as Tom Gilchrist and how much of our money would they use to squeeze more of our tax money from us.

  17. The argument that an expanded library in the Saxonville will spur economic development is fundamentally stupid. 

    Will someone please show me a shred of evidence of this.

  18. Bookstores are being used for research.  Regretably, they seemingly don't want to put out chairs and tables to encourage this.  I wonder why?

Comments from Steve Kruger posted on the Frambors mailing list.
  1. I compared the estimated construction cost per square foot for the library to the estimated construction cost per square foot for the new science wing at the high school, adjusted for inflation and noncomparable items, and still found that the library cost appears to be much, much higher per square foot than the science wing ($332/Sf vs $187/Sf).  It looks to me like we're buying a Rolls Royce for the library, compared to a Chevrolet for the High School.  Why is the cost per square foot for the library so much higher than for the science wing (it would seem to me that if anything science labs would be more expensive to build with all of the specialized equipment, plumbing, venting, etc)

    The specifics are as follows.  The construction cost estimate for the library works out to $358/Sf, stated in 2005-2006 dollars (there is a 5%/year escalation factor for 16 months used in arriving at the $358/Sf figure).

    I compared this to the construction cost estimate for the new science wing at the high school.  According to the estimates provided by DeNisco, the construction cost per square foot of the new science wing was estimated to be $140/Sf in 2000 dollars.  DeNisco also used a 5%/year escalation factor to arrive at a projected 2002 cost of $154/Sf.  Both estimates appear to contain comparable items with the possible exception of architectural and design fees for the library, which amount to about $26/Sf.  Being conservative by subtracting the $26/Sf amount from the total library estimate gets me to $332/Sf for the library.  Taking the $154/Sf figure for the science wing (2002 dollars) and escalating that for four more years at 5%/year gets me to $187/Sf.  Thus on an apparent apples to apples basis the library cost per square foot exceeds the science wing cost per square foot by $145/Sf (332 vs 187).  Given the 16500 square feet proposed for the library, this amounts to about $2.4 million.

  2. Do we really need to add approximately 10,000 Sf to the size of the McAuliffe library?  After all this is a branch library.  Given everything else going on, how important is a public meeting space?  How big a space is really needed for the children's program?  I stepped off the dimensions of the children's area at the main library and I ballpark that to be about 7500 Sf (and by the way I was in there today, a school day, at 3:30 p.m. and there was 1 patron using that 7,500 Sf).  I have not seen anything from the library that convinces me in an objective way that so much additional space is needed with high priority.  Have you?  It seems to me that a good portion of the added space being requested falls into the category of nice to have, not essential services.  Which leads me to my third point.
  3. Has the library considered a "Chevrolet" option that gets the cost per Sf in line and eliminates the "nice to have" space that's being proposed?  Given the long list of major capital projects the town is facing, not to mention the fact that the Stabilization fund is woefully inadequate at its current level, I think its irresponsible not to consider a scaled down, less expensive alternative that focuses sharply on the really important parts of the project.

    The current McAuliffe branch seems pretty small when you walk into it, but in my mind small is beautiful.  I walk in there and see an operation that is a model of cost-effectiveness.  The distances people (both workers and patrons) have to walk to accomplish a task are very short.  The workers at the desk are very efficient. 

    As a patron I can enter the library (which I do regularly), find a book and exit back to my car in about half the time it takes me at the main library.  Yes the collection is much smaller than the main library, but anyone with internet access (which I think is the majority of the population at this point) can sign onto the Minuteman card catalogue, search for a book, determine if it's available at McAuliffe (and if not where it is availalbe), all from the convenience of home.  If the book is not at McAuliffe, one can call the library and request that it be transfered from another library in the Minuteman network, which takes about a day.  A few added internet stations, some dditional seating for patrons and a modest area for children's programs I could support, but not a 10000 Sf additon, and not at what appears to be an excessive cost per square foot.

Cost removing one acre of
commercial property off the tax rolls.
Year Taxes Cumulative
1 24,000 24,000
2 24,600 48,600
3 25215 73,815
4 25,845 99,660
5 26,491 126,151
6 27,153 153,664
7 27,832 181,496
8 28,528 238,552
9 29,241 267,793
10 29,972 297,765
11 30,722 328,487
12 31,490 359,977
13 32,277 392,254
14 33,084 425,338
15 33,911 459,329
16 34,759 494,088
17 35,628 529,716
18 36,518 566,234
19 37,431 603,665
20 38,367 642,032

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