To the editor:
What follows is an open letter to state Rep. Jerry Parisella:
I am a resident of Beverly and own a business located in the Cummings Center. I was outraged (although not surprised) to read about the welfare fraud that was just uncovered by the inspector general. I’m sure you will agree that this is totally unacceptable and needs to be investigated fully — and fixed.
As a taxpayer, I have the right to expect that my tax dollars are managed properly so that money is not wasted and programs that are set up to help people in need are run efficiently and honestly, so that the people who are truly in need get the benefits.
I am therefore asking that you not only get involved in investigating this fraud, but that you actually help to eliminate it. To that end, please work with Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, who has been one of only a few representatives in the state Legislature who has had the guts to speak out about this, while Gov. Deval Patrick only refers to the ever-increasing examples of abuse as “anecdotal.” It’s time for the members of the state Senate and House to get proactive and show some real “leadership.” The more legislators that speak up, the harder it will be for outrageous mismanagement like this in all branches of state government to continue. This action is long overdue.
One last point — I am adamantly opposed to any type of tax increase until I know that the tax revenue the state is already collecting is being managed properly. I cannot imagine that, in light of this report by the inspector general, you or any other legislators can justify raising taxes at this time. I along with many of my colleagues and fellow citizens of Massachusetts will be watching closely to see what you and the rest of the state “leaders” do.