The Place for Sudbury's Citizen Reporters
It’s very obvious what happened last night. The pro-override supporters were very organized and showed up in force to push the override. I overheard some of them talking about how many of them made it to the meeting. They all groaned when anyone spoke in their opposition and were arrogant towards Mr. MacEntee. Unless the supporters of a non-override can organize and make public their valid points as to why this override is not necessary during the Great Recession, we will all be paying the price in the form of permanent higher taxes.
Last night we listened to over 30 minutes of pro-override presentations, all of which were allowed to go over the limit of 5 minutes each. When the opposition was allowed to speak Mr. MacEntee was not treated with the same fairness and was abruptly cut off after 5 minutes. I admit his presentation was not all that polished (neither were the Superintendents) and a challenge to follow for those not familiar with the budget, but he was never given the fair chance to make his final arguments as the others were and that is not democratic.
It was very disappointing to witness the moderator, who I would imagine should be impartial, leaning heavily toward the override movement.
Again, this override decision has no regard to seniors, empty nesters or anyone who cannot afford more taxes. This is a very self centered movement that will continue to destroy this town. This pro-override movement is driving out seniors, dividing the town and creating tensions between neighbors.
The only winners in this decision will be the town employees who received raises, guaranteed future raises and benefits paid for by the taxpayers that go beyond what the private sector has. In addition, these town employees have the lowest percentage of layoffs compared to most other careers during this recession.
Mr. Keller seemed to be a bitter man last night as I’m pretty sure he didn’t mention his successor. A better man would have publicly congratulated Bob Haarde and given him his support while committing to be helpful during the transition period. Thank you for your service Mr. Keller.
There were many unnecessary delays in deciding how to answer several questions. It was very clear this whole process of voting to put the override on the ballot for a special election at the town meeting was not clearly thought out.
School teachers and School staff were at last nights meeting pushing for the override. These people also have lawn signs that support their positions which they would obviously benefit from. It used to be that if you worked in any form of public service, it was a conflict of interest to display any political views. This obviously has significant weight when the teachers of your children are pushing their influence on you. In my opinion, this should not be allowed. It should be strictly enforced and punishable by a fine or more.
The Open Town Meeting process is extremely inefficient. It took 3 hours to vote on 3 articles with many more to go. The meeting also appears to favor special interest which is not fair to the rest of the town. If all these articles need to be voted on by the public, then put them on a ballot.
What can we expect now? I’m confident more pro-override signs will be popping up all over town further dividing the residents and increasing tensions among neighbors. I guess that is what they want. I have to wonder if all the money the pro-override people are spending was just given to the town how that may have helped out with the budget crisis.
Where is this going to take us down the road? More empty nesters leaving town and more families moving in with more overrides to follow. How can this possibly end?
I am truly very disappointed in the manor of which this town is managed. Last night was an embarrassment and a disgrace. I feel as though my presence was meaningless and I seriously doubt I would attend another meeting. If this override trend does not stop, I honestly feel I’m better off taking my family out of Sudbury before it gets any worse. The final word will be at the special election which will also cost the taxpayers more money.