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Re: [lexington] 2003 budget woes??

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  • Mike Lockwood
    Hi Jed, I don t think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am expecting that we will have no choice but to cut services. I am hoping my elementary school
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 1, 2003
      Hi Jed,

      I don't think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am expecting
      that we will have no choice but to cut services. I am hoping my
      elementary school children will continue to benefit from instrumental
      music and foreign language instruction next year, but I expect programs
      like that to suffer.

      The fact that the Selectmen and Town Meeting voted for the PAYT refunds
      indicates that the town is not prepared to deal with this situation
      realistically. We will have no choice but to raise taxes or lay off
      some town employees so we can all get a check for $32.

      Mike

      Pastor Jed Snyder wrote:

      >Harry,
      >I would love to hear some reactions other than raising
      >taxes, as to how to overcome the huge budget problems
      >facing the Commonwealth and by extension the town
      >of Lexington. I know that many do not think that tax
      >increases are wise, and I agree. So what has to be cut
      >and how?
      >
      >Jed Snyder
      >Precinct 5
      >
      >
      >
    • Harry Forsdick
      As my Happy New Year gift to you all, here is information about how to get onto the Massachusetts Do Not Call list. Regards, Harry BOSTON (AP) The state has
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 1, 2003
        As my Happy New Year gift to you all, here is information about how to get onto the Massachusetts "Do Not Call" list.

        Regards,

        Harry

        BOSTON (AP) The state has launched its "Do Not Call" registry, which allows residents to block telemarketing calls to their homes, and state officials are expecting a huge response.

        The registry was set up quietly over the weekend, ahead of the announced Jan. 1 start date, and officials said more than 10,000 people have already signed up, despite the lack of publicity.

        "It's up and running," said Michael Caljouw, general counsel for the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "We think of it as a New Year's present for consumers."

        Massachusetts has about 3 million residential phone lines, and state officials are predicting about a million of those consumers will sign up within the first month.

        The prediction is based on overwhelming consumer response in New York and other states that have already enacted anti-telemarketer registries.

        Massachusetts residents can sign up using a Web site, http://www.mass.gov/donotcall, by telephone, (866) 231-2255, or through the mail, at P.O. Box 1348, Boston, MA, 02117.

        Under the new law, which takes effect April 1, telemarketers doing business in Massachusetts will have to buy an updated "Do Not Call" list each year for $1,100. Companies that fail to register or that call consumers on the list will face penalties of $5,500 per violation.

        Calls from nonprofit and political organizations are exempted, as are calls from businesses that have a prior relationship with residents.

        Consumers have until March 1 to register for inclusion in the first list. After that, the list will be updated every quarter.
        ----------------------------------------------------------------
        Harry Forsdick http://www.forsdick.com
        Lexington, MA http://fotolog.net:8080/forsdick/



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Harry Forsdick
        Correction, the address of the web site is: https://www.madonotcall.govconnect.com/Welcome.asp Regards, Harry ... Harry Forsdick http://www.forsdick.com
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 1, 2003
          Correction, the address of the web site is:

          https://www.madonotcall.govconnect.com/Welcome.asp

          Regards,

          Harry

          At 03:56 PM 1/1/2003, Harry Forsdick wrote:

          >As my Happy New Year gift to you all, here is information about how to get onto the Massachusetts "Do Not Call" list.
          >
          >Regards,
          >
          > Harry
          >
          >BOSTON (AP) The state has launched its "Do Not Call" registry, which allows residents to block telemarketing calls to their homes, and state officials are expecting a huge response.
          >
          >The registry was set up quietly over the weekend, ahead of the announced Jan. 1 start date, and officials said more than 10,000 people have already signed up, despite the lack of publicity.
          >
          >"It's up and running," said Michael Caljouw, general counsel for the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "We think of it as a New Year's present for consumers."
          >
          >Massachusetts has about 3 million residential phone lines, and state officials are predicting about a million of those consumers will sign up within the first month.
          >
          >The prediction is based on overwhelming consumer response in New York and other states that have already enacted anti-telemarketer registries.
          >
          >Massachusetts residents can sign up using a Web site, <http://www.mass.gov/donotcall,>http://www.mass.gov/donotcall, by telephone, (866) 231-2255, or through the mail, at P.O. Box 1348, Boston, MA, 02117.
          >
          >Under the new law, which takes effect April 1, telemarketers doing business in Massachusetts will have to buy an updated "Do Not Call" list each year for $1,100. Companies that fail to register or that call consumers on the list will face penalties of $5,500 per violation.
          >
          >Calls from nonprofit and political organizations are exempted, as are calls from businesses that have a prior relationship with residents.
          >
          >Consumers have until March 1 to register for inclusion in the first list. After that, the list will be updated every quarter.
          >----------------------------------------------------------------
          >Harry Forsdick <http://www.forsdick.com>http://www.forsdick.com
          >Lexington, MA <http://fotolog.net:8080/forsdick/>http://fotolog.net:8080/forsdick/
          >
          >
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
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          ----------------------------------------------------------------
          Harry Forsdick http://www.forsdick.com
          Lexington, MA http://fotolog.net:8080/forsdick/



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Pastor Jed Snyder
          Harry, I would love to hear some reactions other than raising taxes, as to how to overcome the huge budget problems facing the Commonwealth and by extension
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 1, 2003
            Harry,
            I would love to hear some reactions other than raising
            taxes, as to how to overcome the huge budget problems
            facing the Commonwealth and by extension the town
            of Lexington. I know that many do not think that tax
            increases are wise, and I agree. So what has to be cut
            and how?

            Jed Snyder
            Precinct 5



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • barrje@aol.com
            Harry: A few hours ago I clicked on -www.mass.gov/donotcall-and got on the list, twice, for each of my phone lines. I think your first message was the correct
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 1, 2003
              Harry: A few hours ago I clicked on -www.mass.gov/donotcall-and got on the
              list, twice, for each of my phone lines. I think your first message was the
              correct one.

              Jim Barry


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jon Dreyer
              ... Agreed, unless we can pass an override, of course. ... This whole PAYT refund was another example of needless us vs us conflict. While I supported PAYT, I
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 2, 2003
                Mike Lockwood wrote:
                > Hi Jed,
                >
                > I don't think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am expecting
                > that we will have no choice but to cut services. I am hoping my
                > elementary school children will continue to benefit from instrumental
                > music and foreign language instruction next year, but I expect programs
                > like that to suffer.

                Agreed, unless we can pass an override, of course.

                > The fact that the Selectmen and Town Meeting voted for the PAYT refunds
                > indicates that the town is not prepared to deal with this situation
                > realistically. We will have no choice but to raise taxes or lay off
                > some town employees so we can all get a check for $32.

                This whole PAYT refund was another example of needless us vs
                us conflict.

                While I supported PAYT, I also support the anti-PAYT crowd's
                right to fight it. But once they succeeded in destroying PAYT,
                they should have sat quietly and smirked, but instead they
                decided to rub our noses in it. They forgot that they were not
                fighting with "them", but with "us". The cost to our own town
                of this refund fiasco, I'm sure, goes well beyond $32/family.
                I sure wish we could have spent that money on schools, roads, etc.

                There's a small but vocal minority in this town who feel that,
                when any money leaves their wallets and ends up in the Town
                coffers, the money is simply gone. I sure wish I could stand
                up like Jimmy Stewart and say "No, Mr So-And-So, your little
                PAYT refund is not in your wallet! Your refund is paying our
                firemen to keep us safe! It's paying our teachers to teach our
                kids!" And so on. But I can't say that, because the PAYT
                refund is in Mr. So-And-So's wallet.
              • jerryharri@aol.com
                I agree with Mike. Even without the budget shortfall, the schools budget was going to be tight given the new Federal no-child-left-behind law and requirements.
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 2, 2003
                  I agree with Mike. Even without the budget shortfall, the schools budget was
                  going to be tight given the new Federal no-child-left-behind law and
                  requirements. And deciding to reimburse people for PAYT, when residents were
                  already reimbursed to a degree by lower property taxes, is pure pandering.

                  Jerry Harris


                  In a message dated 1/2/2003 9:13:23 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  lexington@yahoogroups.com writes:

                  > I don't think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am expecting
                  > that we will have no choice but to cut services. I am hoping my
                  > elementary school children will continue to benefit from instrumental
                  > music and foreign language instruction next year, but I expect programs
                  > like that to suffer.
                  >
                  > The fact that the Selectmen and Town Meeting voted for the PAYT refunds
                  > indicates that the town is not prepared to deal with this situation
                  > realistically. We will have no choice but to raise taxes or lay off
                  > some town employees so we can all get a check for $32.
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Harry Forsdick
                  ... Not sure why the ONLY choice is to cut services. Clearly there is another choice. I think we need to ask ourselves which services do we as a community
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 2, 2003
                    At 08:18 AM 1/1/2003, Mike Lockwood wrote:
                    >I don't think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am expecting
                    >that we will have no choice but to cut services.

                    Not sure why the ONLY choice is to cut services. Clearly there is another
                    choice. I think we need to ask ourselves which services do we as a
                    community want to support. Then we need to figure out how to pay for them.

                    >I am hoping my elementary school children will continue to benefit from
                    >instrumental music and foreign language instruction next year, but I
                    >expect programs like that to suffer.

                    So, if you hope your children will benefit from these services, why are you
                    willing to let these good things be cut? Why not take a different point of
                    view: advocate for the programs you believe in. My son who went to
                    Florence Italy for a semester and took a course in Italian Opera will
                    testify (in Italian, but not in song) to the benefit of the instrumental
                    music and foreign language instruction he received in the Lexington Public
                    Schools. Why shouldn't your kids have the same benefits. We were willing
                    to support the public education of our children through paying taxes and
                    are still willing, now that are kids are older, to support the education of
                    your children. Putting it selfishly, each time I support the excellent
                    schools in Lexington by paying my taxes, the value of my house goes
                    up. It's also nice that your kids get a great education.

                    >The fact that the Selectmen and Town Meeting voted for the PAYT refunds
                    >indicates that the town is not prepared to deal with this situation
                    >realistically.

                    Hmm, I think it says more about the timidness of the Selectmen than it does
                    about the will of town. The Selectmen could have made a decision (one way
                    or another) and avoided the cost of a special Town Meeting.

                    >We will have no choice but to raise taxes or lay off some town employees
                    >so we can all get a check for $32.

                    I really wonder how much impact $32 is going to have on the budgets of many
                    of Lexington Citizens. It will be interesting to see how many people go to
                    the trouble of asking for their $32. I wonder if the turn out will be any
                    higher than it is on election day ...

                    Regards,

                    Harry

                    ---------------------------------------------------------
                    Harry Forsdick http://www.forsdick.com
                    Lexington, MA http://fotolog.net:8080/forsdick/


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • barrje@aol.com
                    Harry: My congratulations on having a child who likes opera! I m an opera buff myself but, sadly, none of my three acquired a taste for it. Upon request, which
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 2, 2003
                      Harry: My congratulations on having a child who likes opera! I'm an opera
                      buff myself but, sadly, none of my three acquired a taste for it. Upon
                      request, which I rarely get, I can burst into an aria. I'm not good but I'm
                      loud! I'm sure that you are aware of it but in the incredibly off chance
                      that you haven't noticed, today's Globe, Northwest Area Section, notes your
                      setting up of the Lexington list. Good job, well done!!!

                      Jim


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • gerryharry <jerryharri@aol.com>
                      ... expecting ... another ... Harry, Aside from passing an override to cover the budget gap, what other clear choices do you have in mind? Jerry
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 2, 2003
                        --- In lexington@yahoogroups.com, Harry Forsdick <harry@f...> wrote:
                        > At 08:18 AM 1/1/2003, Mike Lockwood wrote:
                        > >I don't think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am
                        expecting
                        > >that we will have no choice but to cut services.
                        >
                        > Not sure why the ONLY choice is to cut services. Clearly there is
                        another
                        > choice.

                        Harry,
                        Aside from passing an override to cover the budget gap, what
                        other "clear" choices do you have in mind?

                        Jerry
                      • Mike Lockwood
                        ... I do advocate for the programs I believe in. Last June, you may have noticed my car parked on Mass Ave with a Reaffirm PAYT sign on top. My wife is a
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jan 2, 2003
                          Harry Forsdick wrote:
                          > At 08:18 AM 1/1/2003, Mike Lockwood wrote:
                          >
                          >>I don't think there is any low hanging fruit to cut. I am expecting
                          >>that we will have no choice but to cut services.
                          >
                          >
                          > Not sure why the ONLY choice is to cut services. Clearly there is another
                          > choice. I think we need to ask ourselves which services do we as a
                          > community want to support. Then we need to figure out how to pay for them.
                          >
                          >
                          >>I am hoping my elementary school children will continue to benefit from
                          >>instrumental music and foreign language instruction next year, but I
                          >>expect programs like that to suffer.
                          >
                          >
                          > So, if you hope your children will benefit from these services, why are you
                          > willing to let these good things be cut? Why not take a different point of
                          > view: advocate for the programs you believe in.

                          I do advocate for the programs I believe in. Last June, you may have
                          noticed my car parked on Mass Ave with a "Reaffirm PAYT" sign on top.
                          My wife is a town meeting member and has been involved in a lot of town
                          issues. We have worked on the campaigns to support the last few
                          overrides, and will have to go through it again this time too.

                          When I was in the Detroit public schools as a child, my instrumental
                          music program got cut twice because the citizens of Detroit did not pass
                          a tax increase to cover the school system budget. One of the main
                          reasons I moved to Lexington is because I thought I would not have to
                          worry about things like that happening here.

                          Mike
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