JUST THE FACTS JACK

JUST THE FACTS JACK

In his recent letter to the editor, Mr. Adelson, perhaps influenced [I’ll let the reader judge] by his wife’s employment as Lynnfield’s Conservation Administrator whose salary, raises and budget might be affected, quotes the Nov 24, 2014 post on the Lynnfield Initiative for Transparency [LIFT] blog concerning Article 23 out of context. For accuracy, the full pertinent portions of that blog posting are repeated below. For the complete text see the November 24, 2014 posting at lynnfieldtransparency.com and/or the local papers for the same time period.

“…Article 23 was passed at our April, 2014 Town Meeting, the people voting to advise the Board of Selectmen to present a two budget alternative for FY 2016. One proposed budget, which would exclude a 2½% increase to our tax base, and the second, which would include the customary 10+ year 2 ½% increase the Selectmen have automatically added each year.  ( Please keep in mind; this is not a zero based budget, even without the 2 ½% increase to our current taxable base, the town will still enjoy substantial additional revenues based on New Growth. The New Growth will come from the continuing buildout of Market Street and newly built/upgraded homes in town.)…” (emphasis added)

“…The proposed alternative budget analysis gives the Town Meeting the opportunity, on a comparative basis, to make more informed choices as to the services and expenses they wish to authorize for the next Fiscal Year. This is a step to explore alternatives and would still contain substantial new growth income from Market St., new homes, rebuilds, etc. A dual budget approach is not uncommon. Not only has it been done in Lynnfield, but also in other

Towns such as Norwell, where our new Town Administrator is currently employed, which used dual budgets in its FY 2013 Warrant concerning a potential budget override…”

Even the most casual reader can determine that Mr. Adelson misinterpreted and by, omission, seriously misrepresented the statements in the blog posting and the intent of Article 23. He thereby undermined all his mistaken arguments concerning a “zero based property tax” and “level funding”. [for reader verification, the text of Article 23 recommended by the Finance Committee and approved by the Town Meeting Members at the April, 2014 Town Meeting

states:  “The Town Meeting hereby advises the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen that for future Town Meetings, the omnibus expense/capital budget for the forthcoming fiscal year(s) be prepared and presented with two alternatives as follows:

Alternative 1: Without incorporating the voluntary 2 1/2% increase permitted by Proposition 2 1/2.

Alternative 2: Incorporating the full voluntary 2 1/2% increase permitted by Proposition 2 1/2.”]

Mr. Adelson goes on to state in his letter that during the Budget Summit meeting I …asked the School Committee what the problem was in cutting $400,000 from a $22 Million budget…?”. Actually what happened was that School Committee Chairman Barrett and School Superintendent Tremblay asserted that a 2 1/2% budget reduction, approximating

$400,000, would be a “devastating” blow to the School Department. I challenged the use of the alarmist word “devastating”. While I thought there would be some impact, I did not believe that such a reduction, given the $22 Million size of the School Budget, would be “devastating or destroy our school system”.

Last point I support Katy Shea. She is not part of the entrenched “oldboy” network which does not want to be challenged in anyway and she is not part of the Beacon Hill mentality bunch. Katy will bring a badly needed fresh look to our Town operations and work to control our every increasing Town expenditures, up 6+% this year. We have to stop the dysfunctional activities of our public officials and stop using [paraphrasing the Verizon commercial] “halffastfacts” to support their self serving positions to the possible detriment to the Town. Katy is reasonable, fair, transparent, respects Town Meeting and will openly debate the issues while bringing her business experience and skills to bear for the benefit of Lynnfield. Please join me in voting for Katy on April 13. Lets make the right change!

David Miller

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