From Kara Grady Boudreau
Dear Fellow Newton Taxpayers,
Before you decide which way to vote on the Mayorʼs tax override request on March 12, I urge you to consider how well the Mayor and his team have allocated the tax dollars you have already given them. As many of you read in the Boston Globe article dated 2/17/13, Newtonʼs payroll is simply out-of-control and completely out of sync with other towns of similar economic stature to ours. The total 2012 payroll for the city, not including exorbitant pension and healthcare beneﬁts, was a whopping $191,000,000. These are just a FEW of the generous pay packages your tax dollars funded last year:
1. $9,000,000 in “other wages”. On the payroll this column does not say what “other” is so I have no idea, but it seems to be a bit more than an “ofﬁce kitty for lunch”.
2. $1,285,000 in “longevity bonuses”. I thought a pension WAS a longevity bonus. Iʼm a little confused why these have to be offered to employees who are already guaranteed a pension after 10 years of service.
3. $90,000-$104,000 paid to 3 separate custodians. I had no idea this was the “going rate” for this type of work.
4. $41,000 to the Newton Teacherʼs Association President. Why are our tax dollars being allocated to pay this individual for running a union that we donʼt belong to?? In other trades, I am certain that union member dues pay the President of the Union, not tax dollars. This is by far and away the most egregious misuse of our funds.
Little wonder they can’t fix the roads. They spend 80% of the budget on salaries!
So, this override request is simply NOT about whether the town needs to ﬁx our roads, build a new ﬁrehouse or remodel 2 schools. What it IS about is whether we the taxpayers choose to “throw good money after bad” and give the Mayor and his team more of our hard-earned money to misappropriate.
All statistics are available in City of Newton public records.