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

The Board of Selectman Won't Offer You a Choice Monday, November 3, 2003
Harold J. Wolfe  
On October 16, 2003, I requested the Framingham Board of Selectman to consider placing a $7.5 million Proposition 2 1/2 underride on the Spring ballot.

In the following meeting, I argued that an underride was needed to give the taxpayers relief after a 3 year market decline where a considerable number of people lost their jobs temporarily or permanently (due to outsourcing).  I also provided them with alternatives for cost-cutting in their operations.

I reminded Charles J. Sisitsky and George P. King, Jr. about the 1998 Financial Task Force report (which has their names on the front cover).  This five year old report predicted that an override was going to be needed in 2002 simply because expenditures were rising faster than revenues.  The report was extremely precise (to $1 million) on the expenditure side, and offered a long list of ideas to cut expenses.  Regrettably, over the next five years, none of those suggestions were implemented.  The override request came and is now history.  This is now a historical document that clearly shows a failure to control expenses by these two men.

Collectively, the private sector has lost many millions of dollars of wealth within Framingham.  The town government has yet to post a loss.  The General Fund expenditures (in millions of dollars) from 200-2004 are as follows: 132, 139, 150, 160, 163.  This is a monotonically increasing sequence.  No losses or cuts have taken place yet, despite all that whining and groaning you may have heard in the background near Nevins Hall.

More to the point, Proposition 2 1/2 offers the voters the CHOICE to vote for both overrides and underrides.  Why should we be offered only overrides?  The Board of Selectman is the only body who can vote to place an override or UNDERRIDE on the ballot.

The board is relunctant to place an override on the ballot, and is now relunctant to place an underride on the ballot.  Any override will not pass but the underride has a good chance of passing.  Overwhelmed by fear of the voters, the board will simply not offer the choice to voters.

It seems apparent that the Board of Selectman are not interested in the taxpayers or voters, but prefer to vote on behalf of town government employees who reside in the same building where the Ablondi Room is.  This is where they get all their biased feedback.

In their paralysis, the Board of Selectman will however, further burden the taxpayers with a hidden tax called the trash fee, but the vote for that has been postponed (for political expediency) until after the elections.

Come next Spring, I hope that the voters will tell the Board of Selectman candidates what they think of the option of not being offered a choice of an underride or a choice of the trash fee.

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com