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Alderman Ruthanne Fuller: Join Me in Voting 'Yes, Yes, Yes' on March 12

A letter to the editor from Newton Ward 7 Alderman-at-Large Ruthanne Fuller asking residents to support the three override ballot questions on March 12.

 

Please vote Tuesday, March 12. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are 3 questions. Here is why I am voting YES, YES and YES. 

Newton has an operating budget of $315 million. These three initiatives will add another $11.4 million to it to meet important needs.

Setti Warren, our mayor, working with the Board of Aldermen and School Committee, works hard to use the $315 million thoughtfully, efficiently and effectively.

  • All labor contracts were renegotiated to hold compensation increases to  2.5 percent
  • Each item in each department budget is reevaluated annually  to make sure it’s necessary (zero based budgets)
  • Performance is monitored continuously so changes can be made and results improve (performance monitoring)

We have major buildings that are at the end of their useful life. Voting YES means funding two elementary schools (Angier in Waban, Cabot in Newtonville) and Fire Station 3 and Fire Headquarters (both in Newton Centre). 

We have 12,070 children in our schools, an increase of 900+ since 2004. We project another 850+ (7 percent) in the next five years. Voting YES adds more space by making the new Angier and new Cabot bigger and rebuilding Zervas Elementary School to double its capacity. Voting YES means more teachers and more teacher aides to keep class sizes reasonable.

Forty-six percent of our roads are in poor condition. Voting YES invests another $1 million annually in road and sidewalk maintenance and repair (still short of what we need but a big improvement).

Please join me in voting YES, YES and YES on Tuesday, March 12.

--Ruthanne Fuller
Alderman-at-large, Ward 7

Janet Sterman March 07, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Folks are lined up to run for School Committee in Ward 1? Do tell...
Janet Sterman March 07, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Not that I am a screaming fan of Alderman Laredo's, I don't believe it's our place to tell him where he should put his Aldermanic salary... ;-)
Norman Wirtz March 09, 2013 at 02:31 PM
The 2.5% increase, touted as creating a "sustainable financial picture" is actually a destabilizing force that will inevitability require additional overrides (lets also remember that an "override" is a tax INCREASE). Another proponent of the Override recently wrote “17 municipal contracts were renegotiated so that the compensation growth rate dropped to match the rate of city revenue growth.” 1. Without an override, the budget can only grow at 2.5% 2. If the “compensation growth rate dropped to the rate of city revenue growth” then compensation will grow 2.5% 3. Compensation is 75.5% of the total city budget 4. Therefore 75.5% of every dollar of increase in tax revenue will be used up compensation growth. 5. Only 24.5% of every dollar of increased tax revenue is available to all other city needs. 6. What the need for the requested override shows is that the compensation portion of the total revenue increase is crowding out all of the needs of the city. A good first step is further reduction in compensation to the 1% range. People in the private sector are facing flat to declining compensation. Our municipal employees have historically received compensation increases in excess of 2.5%. It's time for them to give something back to the rest of us!!
Norman Wirtz March 11, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Really, whoever you are, would have us believe that the "numbers" don't tell the story. Unfortunately, these "numbers" are really DOLLARS and they don't lie. Perhaps Really should explain those "complexities" so that we could all better understand why the DOLLARS are necessary
Norman Wirtz March 11, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Here are some additional numbers that also apparently show no understanding of the "complexities" involved. In the absence of a tax increase/override, your average property tax bill will rise by $220/year increasing the total city budget by $9 million. But this increase is insufficient to run the city or fix our streets or keep our schools repaired. So the mayor needs an additional $343/yr or $11.4 million. Again, those darn numbers are dollars that come out of our pockets. That part is not too complex for me to understand!! Vote NO NO NO and send a message to the Mayor and the Aldermen that better is not good and they need to continue to do better so that you and I all the other taxpayers in Newton can keep their money.

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