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LETTER: Newton PTO Council: Vote "Yes, Yes, Yes" on Override Package

A letter to the editor from the Newton PTO Council asking residents to support all three override questions on March 12.

 

Last week, the Newton PTO Council voted overwhelmingly to support the Mayor’s proposed override package.  A yes vote on the override package, which includes three ballot questions, insures that the children of Newton get the education they deserve, in facilities that address their needs.

Our schools are facing serious enrollment issues, budgetary pressures, and deteriorating facilities.  For Newton to continue to uphold its standard of educational excellence, we need improved buildings, more teachers and greater funding for our schools.

To receive the full benefits of this override, the three ballot questions should be viewed as one.  One ballot question provides for a debt exclusion to finance the reconstruction of Angier Elementary, a 90 year old building whose physical condition is among the worst in the state.  Another ballot question provides for a debt exclusion to finance the reconstruction of Cabot Elementary, also an old building in a compromised physical state.  The third ballot question provides for an increase in the city’s operating budget of $8.4 million, including money for the rehabilitation of Zervas Elementary, modulars at 4 schools, salaries for additional teachers, and funding for police, fire and infrastructure.  

As a package, the proposed override provides sorely needed space for the increasing enrollment at our schools, and the teachers to fill those spaces.  Without teachers, we can’t use the space, and without space, we can’t accommodate more students without seriously compromising our educational standards and values. 

While our main organizational concern is our children’s education, we believe this override package will benefit the city as a whole.  As schools improve, our reputation of educational excellence continues to grow, increasing our property values and Newton’s desirability as a top place to live.  

On March 12, please vote for our schools and our community by voting Yes on all three ballot questions.

--Frieda Dweck, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Rhanna Kidwell
Co-Presidents, Newton PTO Council

Harry Sanders February 01, 2013 at 04:26 PM
On the way to highschool my son asked me what the 3 questions were, to which I replied: 1. will it be enough? 2. how soon will he ask for more? 3. will he use it wisely? to that he immediately knew..
Adam Maleson February 01, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Only property owners in Newton should be allowed to vote on this issue, as it is THEIR taxes that will be raised by the override. Voters who do not own property should not be allowed to make this decision for those who will have to pay the increased taxes. Everyone who votes YES YES YES should get their wish, they should all have their taxes raised UP UP UP. In the interest of fairness, every voter who votes against the override should not be required to pay any increase in taxes. If those who wish to have Propostion 2 1/2 overridden are only willing to pay higher taxes themselves as long as they can force everyone else, like it or not, to also have their taxes raised, then I feel that places a slight cloud over the claims of their sincerity and depth of commitment to what is best for Newton. If you want to pay higher taxes for the benefit of the schools, fine, great, by all means go right ahead and do so! But if you are only willing to have YOUR taxes increased as long as you can FORCE everyone else to pay more taxes, then you are quite frankly acting as an economic bully toward your neighbors. Shame on those who would victimize their neighbors financially. Newton taxes are ALREADY exorbitant. Proposition 2 1/2 was created for a reason. It was a mandate from the people that if the politicians cannot manage the city's affairs within a reasonable budget, then those politicians need to be replaced by others who can.
Robert L. Cerra February 02, 2013 at 11:44 PM
The schools receive 88% of our property tax money, that is appently not enough. No matter how much we give the schools it will not be enough and they will continue to tell us they need more. To ask them to live within a budget is unfair, anti-educational . President Obama wants just a little more, Governor Patrick wants just a little more and now Mayor Warren want just a little more. To ask them to live within a budget is harsh and unreasonabble

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