, Salem, MA

October 23, 2012

Letter: Don't vote for a sneak attack

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The CPA is a sneak attack on Proposition 21/2 by override. It’s disguised with a very thin “sugar coat.” “Spend a little to get a lot,” as though it was an investment.

The state “matching funds” that “we’re missing out on” have deteriorated to a 22 percent match. The major reasons for the drop are the increased number of cities and towns sharing a limited fund and the significant decrease in real estate transfer fees that financed the kitty. Even if the state can find the $25 million they have promised to add to the fund, once you divide it up between approximately 150 cities and towns, what’s left for Beverly isn’t enough to get excited about. The down economy upsets lots of plans.

Although I didn’t agree with the artificial turf field at the new high school, I have to give that advocacy group a great deal of credit for putting together a committee, raising the necessary funds and pulling it off! The Beverly Library Bookmobile was financed in a similar way. These should be models for all the small groups with the “next great idea” to save Beverly from — whatever.

If you want to move the Powder House from up someone’s driveway to the Balch House, form a committee and raise the funds. The same goes for air-conditioning the museum on Cabot Street. PEM and the Wenham Museum have developed strong subscriber bases. If the Carriage House and Beverly Golf & Tennis are such good opportunities to generate funds, why not do what real businesses do — borrow the money to upgrade the facilities and pay off the loan from the revenue?

The real issues are the priorities of the city administration and the City Council. If these “pressing needs” were so important, why haven’t the CPA supporters convinced the administration and City Council that they should be included in the budget? Just because one or two people think it’s a “great idea” doesn’t mean they should have a taxpayer-funded slush fund to dabble in their fancies.

With the exception of playgrounds, CPA cannot fund ongoing maintenance, which has been the major problem in Beverly. CPA will make it too easy for the local government to slough off their responsibility and divert tax money to their pet projects. With the cry “Let CPA fund it!” Vote NO on Question 4 to protect your pocketbook and wallet!

George Binns