SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 28, 2013

Letter: Abbot Hall can be fixed without override

To the editor:

The Marblehead selectmen have just proposed a Proposition 21/2 override for $2.1 million to fix Abbot Hall.

Surely, no one wants the town hall to fall down, but here is how the selectmen can fix Abbot Hall without an override: If the town borrows $2.1 million to fix Abbot Hall over 20 years at 3.5 percent, the yearly payment is just about $140,000 per year; that is less than 1 percent of the total town budget. (The annual town budget is more than $71 million.)

So the selectmen can fix Abbot Hall themselves without an override if they just put less than 1 percent of the total town budget toward this very important cause.

However, the selectmen have a policy whereby they do not spend regular property tax money on long-term expenses. They spend all the tax money on yearly expenses and demand overrides to fix big-ticket items.

So call the selectmen today at 781-631-0000, and tell them, “They let the town’s great landmark fall apart, and you want them to use your regular tax money to fix it.”

And do not be fooled by claims that this budget reallocation of less than 1 percent will cause them to lay off teachers, policemen and firefighters. It is just a scare tactic.

Jack Buba

Treasurer

Marblehead Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility

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