We’re here at the third installment of Town Meeting, after a quick and dirty detour through a special Town Meeting. Rep. Will Brownsberger is giving us an update on the budget picture at the State level and, of intense interest…
The question for those of you who are planning to attend tonight’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen should be “what has changed” for Belmont since last Spring, when both Selectman Jones and Paolillo ardently supported passage of an Override. If the town needed it in June, why is it suddenly unworthy in January now that our budget deficit has grown and all-important one time funds, such as the Federal ARRA grants, have dried up?!
Nobody was smiling at last night’s Warrant Committee meeting, least so the scores of concerned parents worried about cuts to music, art and foreign language instruction, who were told by Board of Selectmen Chair (and candidate) Ralph Jones that the School Administration and School Committee were lying to them, hiding money, and favoring grown ups (i.e school employees) over kids. None of it is true… Read on for more on last night’s meeting.
A proposed budget using the Warrant Committee’s “Available Funds” for the school proposes eliminating five full time teaching positions, art and music instruction at the elementary school level, language instruction at the middle school level and steep cuts to support services district wide. Time to get angry, people!
In which Paul un-declares himself from the upcoming School Committee contest.
Two events to put on your calendar: an October 13 chat with Massachusetts House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Murphy on the state of the State’s budget. Then set aside the evening of October 27 for an important Community Dialog on the future direction of the public schools.
Belmont’s name showed up on a list of 11 Bay State towns that had passed Prop 2 1/2 overrides, despite the rough economy. The article, on the front page of today’s Globe,talks about overrides for schools, libraries and public services passing in towns like Rockland, Milton.
If nothing else, the Wellington reminds us all that investing in our public schools — investing in the future of Belmont — is something that’s just…good. It enriches us all far beyond the meager costs we pay (around $1 a day, on average, for the new Wellington school).
After years of debate within town about the plight of the Wellington Elementary School, it all comes down to a town-wide vote today. Polls opened at 7:00 AM and will stay open until 8:00pm. It’s time to get out and vote for Belmont’s future. Go to the polls and vote YES for Wellington!
This year’s marathon, multi-session Town Meeting might be best remembered for what wasn’t heard last night: a single dissenting voice among the more than 200 assembled Town Meeting members to a motion to allocate more than $39 million for reconstruction of the Wellington Elementary School. The unanimous vote in favor was sweet victory for all those who have battled to have the aging school rebuilt!