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Re: [lexington] Override

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  • Lorraine Fournier
    Jed Thank You. We have them running in circles. :-) Lorraine ... _________________________________________________________________ Watch LIVE baseball games on
    Message 1 of 16 , May 1, 2004
      Jed

      Thank You. We have them running in circles. :-)

      Lorraine




      >From: jedsnyder@...
      >Reply-To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
      >To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [lexington] Override
      >Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 23:29:41 -0400
      >
      >Well done, Lorraine.
      >Jed

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    • Francine Stieglitz
      Lorraine, I, for one, don t know what you mean by them or what running in circles mean. But why are you sending a thank you note to one person via
      Message 2 of 16 , May 1, 2004
        Lorraine,

        I, for one, don't know what you mean by "them" or what "running in circles"
        mean. But why are you sending a thank you note to one person via
        yahoogroups?

        francine

        on 5/1/04 4:25 PM, Lorraine Fournier at lfournier24@... wrote:

        Jed

        Thank You. We have them running in circles. :-)

        Lorraine




        >From: jedsnyder@...
        >Reply-To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
        >To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: Re: [lexington] Override
        >Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 23:29:41 -0400
        >
        >Well done, Lorraine.
        >Jed

        _________________________________________________________________
        Watch LIVE baseball games on your computer with MLB.TV, included with MSN
        Premium!
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        ct/01/



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      • Ellen McDonald
        Lorraine, I ve checked both of those locations and there is no illegally placed signage. May I suggest that, in the future, you check out the problem areas
        Message 3 of 16 , May 1, 2004
          Lorraine,

          I've checked both of those locations and there is no illegally placed
          signage. May I suggest that, in the future, you check out the problem
          areas firsthand? This will spare others from wasting their time and keep
          them from "running in circles."

          On that note, I'd like to second the suggestion that you avail yourself
          of the myriad resources offered on the Internet. The STAR project in
          Tennessee is regarded as a well-designed piece of research on the
          subject of class size. It is available at:

          http://www.heros-inc.org/star.htm

          Ellen McDonald
          Pct 4


          Lorraine Fournier wrote:
          >
          > Jed
          >
          > Thank You. We have them running in circles. :-)
          >
          > Lorraine
          >
          > >From: jedsnyder@...
          > >Reply-To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
          > >To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
          > >Subject: Re: [lexington] Override
          > >Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 23:29:41 -0400
          > >
          > >Well done, Lorraine.
          > >Jed
          >
          > _________________________________________________________________
          > Watch LIVE baseball games on your computer with MLB.TV, included with MSN
          > Premium!
          > http://join.msn.com/?page=features/mlb&pgmarket=en-us/go/onm00200439ave/direct/01/
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          >
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          > Subscribe to list: mailto:lexington-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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          > Lexington List web site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lexington
          > TMMA web site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lex-tmma
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
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        • Jerry Harris
          Lorraine, The only circles I see are the ones you keep tracing with your faulty logic. Jerry ... MSN ... us/go/onm00200439ave/direct/01/ ... Canada.
          Message 4 of 16 , May 2, 2004
            Lorraine,

            The only circles I see are the ones you keep tracing with your faulty
            logic.

            Jerry


            ---- Original message ----
            >Date: Sat, 01 May 2004 16:25:13 -0400
            >From: "Lorraine Fournier" <lfournier24@...>
            >Subject: Re: [lexington] Override
            >To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >Jed
            >
            >Thank You. We have them running in circles. :-)
            >
            >Lorraine
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >>From: jedsnyder@...
            >>Reply-To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
            >>To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
            >>Subject: Re: [lexington] Override
            >>Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 23:29:41 -0400
            >>
            >>Well done, Lorraine.
            >>Jed
            >
            >_________________________________________________________________
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          • Harry Forsdick
            I think we need to step back a bit and ask ourselves if we would say some of the things we write if we were face to face with the other people. In looking up
            Message 5 of 16 , May 2, 2004
              I think we need to step back a bit and ask ourselves if we would say
              some of the things we write if we were face to face with the other
              people. In looking up the definition of "name-calling" I came across
              the following web site:

              <http://www.nonamecallingweek.org> http://www.nonamecallingweek.org

              Unfortunately, we missed it for this year, but the message being
              promoted is a good one:

              The No Name-Calling Week Project
              The No Name-Calling Week Coalition aims to create safer schools by
              making bullying, harassment, and name-calling unacceptable through
              public education campaigns that motivate youth to change their behavior
              and mobilize students and educators to take school-based action around
              the problem of name-calling and verbal harassment.

              I think we should try to stop the negative accusations and rather state
              the prositive reasons why we believe what we believe. Furthermore, once
              a point has been made (perhaps several exchanges) how about letting
              people decide for themselves rather than sink to endless sniping at each
              other.

              I remind people about the wonderful Saturday Night Live, Jane Curtin -
              Dan Aykroyd parody of Point-Counterpoint. Some of our conversations
              seem to be headed in that direction.

              Finally, I would like people to send personal messages to individuals,
              not the list. Messages that just include congratulations don't really
              need to be sent to everyone, do they? Again, few minds are going to be
              changed by such public displays of affection :-).

              Regards,

              Harry

              --------------------------------
              Harry Forsdick
              781.861.6149 (h)
              781.652.8406 (w)
              781.799.6002 (c)
              <http://www.forsdick.com> http://www.forsdick.com


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Harry Forsdick
              ... pros·i·tive (prŏz ĭ-tĭv) adj. 1. Characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation by a male past his 50th birthday: a prositive
              Message 6 of 16 , May 3, 2004
                from my previous message:
                >I think we should try to stop the negative accusations and rather state
                >the -- prositive -- reasons why we believe what we believe.

                pros·i·tive (prŏz'ĭ-tĭv) adj.

                1. Characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation by a male past his 50th birthday: a prositive answer; prositive criticism.

                2. Measured or moving forward or in a direction of increase or progress by a male past his 50th birthday who is a little anxious about his next physical exam.

                3. Admitting of no doubt; irrefutable, typically expressed by an older man: proof prositive.


                --------------------------------
                Harry Forsdick
                781.861.6149 (h)
                781.652.8406 (w)
                781.799.6002 (c)
                http://www.forsdick.com


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Lorraine Fournier
                Dear Members Have you given any thought to WHY there haven’t been any fair debates this year? Would it be that the town doesn’t want to hear from those
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 1, 2004
                  Dear Members

                  Have you given any thought to WHY there haven�t been any fair debates this
                  year? Would it be that the town doesn�t want to hear from those with a
                  different point of view? The Yes campaign and town officials have dominated
                  all the newspapers, had there own forums with no opposing views, sent home
                  letters with the children from school. The teachers union used the school
                  computer server for override campaign purposes, Yes vehicle in the Patriots
                  Day parade after being told to remove signs out of respect for the holiday,
                  teachers telling 18 year old students to register to vote so they won�t
                  loose their jobs, and the loss of many NO signs tells me that this has been
                  anything but a fair override campaign. I am especially disappointed that
                  TMMA would put on such a biased forum. I thought TMMA represented all of us
                  at town meeting.

                  Just a few things I would like you to consider before you cast your vote.

                  After the failed override last year Town Meeting approved a $1.4 million
                  dollar loan from
                  The Pension Holiday Fund to balance the 2003 and 2004 budgets. If the
                  override had passed we would not be the wiser. Is this the only way
                  Lexington can balance their budget, with loans or overrides? Information was
                  presented at Town Meeting.

                  In April we received an average 9.9% increase in real estate taxes. Not two
                  months later they are asking us to approve another $4.2 million dollar
                  override. The override will increase taxes by 8.9% which will include
                  proposition 21/2 or 2.5%, debt exclusion 1.4% and 1.2% for each million of
                  the override. Did you receive19% increase in salary this year?

                  Fact: For years we have been ILLEGALLY charged $750,000 in taxes through the
                  Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund. They have had years to correct this but have
                  continued to charge taxes through the enterprise fund. Information taken
                  from town documents.

                  Fact: Through the water/sewer indirect expenses the Town Manager, Assessor,
                  Comptroller, Revenue Department and MIS received partial salary this year of
                  50% was 80% last year. There are many other questionable expenses.
                  Information taken from town documents. Already there is talk about a debt
                  exclusion override for 2006 to transfer enterprise expenses from the
                  enterprise fund into the tax levy.

                  Fact: The escalating water/sewer rate penalizes larger families because they
                  have the greatest necessity for water. The more water you use the higher the
                  rate. There is no data that this supports conservation. MWRA does not set
                  the rates, Lexington does. Information taken from town documents.

                  Fact: The east branch fire station will open and six police officers and one
                  clerk will be reinstated WITHOUT the override in July of this year.
                  Presented at TMMA YES forum.

                  Fact: The town saved $788,000 on health insurance benefits this year. They
                  applied $200,000 to the override and put the remaining $588,000 into a
                  reserve or stabilization fund for the 2006 budget while asking for another
                  override. Presented at Selectmen�s Meeting.

                  Fact: Lexington has the revenue to pay for the Library and yard waste
                  collection.

                  Fact: If the override passes for Lexpress the total cost to the town will be
                  $291,000 dollars. Should we continue subsidizing public transportation?
                  Information presented at TMMA YES forum.

                  Fact: Lexington is self-insured and can�t keep up with the escalating cost
                  of health insurance. Should the town be in the health insurance business?

                  Fact: While encouraging elderly members of our community to take advantage
                  of the Tax Deferrals, they failed to mention that the payment of taxes and
                  accrued interest is due upon the sale of the property or the death of the
                  taxpayer. If the surviving spouse does not continue to defer, as of the
                  critical date, the interest rate goes up to 16%; 6 months thereafter the
                  treasurer may seek to foreclose the LIEN on the property if the deferred
                  amount remains unpaid. Information taken from the Massachusetts Department
                  of Revenue. If they didn�t have the funds to begin with how would they pay
                  off the deferred loan? They would be locked in with no control over their
                  property.

                  Fact: From 1999 to 2003 there was an increase of 313 students and an
                  increase of 94 school staff, average three students per school staff hired.
                  Information taken from the Town Annual Reports.

                  Fact: From 1999 to 2003 the school budget went up an average of $3.9 million
                  per year. Information taken from the Town Annual Reports.

                  Fact: In FY04, this year, the school budget has taken 63% of total revenue,
                  plus shared expenses, plus capital expenses. Out of the 63% the schools
                  receive 87% is for staff alone, leaving 13% for everything else, heat,
                  lights, books, supplies, libraries, and equipment for all nine schools. Is
                  it any wonder there are no books and pencils for the students. Information
                  taken from the FY04 Summary.

                  Fact: The teachers union does NOT work for the taxpayers or students. They
                  wok for the dues paying teachers.

                  Fact: The teachers union has an office, free of charge at the high school,
                  which is contractual.

                  Fact: Teachers union used school computer server for override campaign
                  purposes. I have a copy of their e-mail.

                  Fact: According to the Department of Education, the number of public school
                  teachers in Massachusetts soared from 33,629 in 1991 to 70,236 in 2002. A
                  108% increase while student enrollment went up by only 17%. This only
                  benefits the teacher�s union bottom line.

                  Fact: Green sheets sent home with students is full of override information
                  and scare tactics. I must also say some parents are NOT happy with the
                  schools sending home this information with the students. I have received
                  copies of the letters.

                  Fact: Teachers union gave $5,000 to the Yes campaign.

                  Fact: Of the 750 teachers, 550 are NOT Lexington residents. Do you think
                  they would approve a 19% tax increase, in two months, in their town?
                  Information taken from the Lexington School website.

                  Fact: Many "No" signs have been stolen, and continue to be, as fast as they
                  are out. Is this the way they want to convince the residents to support the
                  Yes Campaign?

                  I am not at all happy with the underhanded methods in which this override
                  campaign has taken place. What I think or feel doesn�t matter to this
                  community. To be totally ignored is insulting and irresponsible. Maybe, one
                  day, you will care.

                  I was NOT ALLOWED to speak at the TMMA biased YES forum which is on the
                  tape.

                  So much for honesty, fairness, respect, and difference of opinion.

                  Bundled or unbundled, it�s an override.

                  Vote No, No, No, No, No, No.

                  Lorraine Fournier
                  Town Meeting Member Pct 8
                  Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund Committee Member

                  _________________________________________________________________
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                • Ann Redmon
                  Lorraine, There are others far better equipped to respond with accurate information to many of the lies and misperceptions that you continue to spread in your
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 1, 2004
                    Lorraine,

                    There are others far better equipped to respond with accurate information to
                    many of the lies and misperceptions that you continue to spread in your
                    posts, but there are several I can address.

                    In response to your point about the NO campaign's being shut out of the
                    debate, what's stopping you from having your own forums? Do you really
                    expect those who strive to make this town a better place for all of us who
                    live here to support you in your efforts to destroy the fabric of this town
                    by setting up forums for you to put forth your point of view?

                    You can hardly say that you have been totally ignored; everyone in Lexington
                    has heard and read what you have to say on the subject plenty of times.

                    In addition, how can you say that the YES campaign has dominated the
                    newspapers after the one-sided front-page article in the Minuteman about NO
                    signs being stolen and the extensive quoting of Jed in the Globe last week?

                    Regarding letters sent home with the children from school, I have no idea
                    what you're talking about; could you clarify?

                    The YES float did not exactly sneak into the parade; the campaign paid the
                    necessary fee that political floats are required to pay and was given a spot
                    by parade organizers.

                    Who precisely told you that teachers told high school students to register
                    to vote so that they wouldn't lose their jobs?

                    These are the kind of unsupported allegations that the NO campaign has made
                    and continues to make. Frankly, I too am disgusted with the underhanded
                    methods with which this override campaign has been undertaken, but they've
                    all been on the NO side, as far as I can see.

                    Ann Shildneck Redmon
                    Lexington, MA
                    mailto:ann@...

                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Lorraine Fournier [mailto:lfournier24@...]
                    > Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 8:44 PM
                    > To: lex-tmma@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [lexington] Override
                    >
                    >
                    > Dear Members
                    >
                    > Have you given any thought to WHY there haven’t been any fair
                    > debates this
                    > year? Would it be that the town doesn’t want to hear from those with a
                    > different point of view? The Yes campaign and town officials have
                    > dominated
                    > all the newspapers, had there own forums with no opposing views,
                    > sent home
                    > letters with the children from school. The teachers union used the school
                    > computer server for override campaign purposes, Yes vehicle in
                    > the Patriots
                    > Day parade after being told to remove signs out of respect for
                    > the holiday,
                    > teachers telling 18 year old students to register to vote so they won’t
                    > loose their jobs, and the loss of many NO signs tells me that
                    > this has been
                    > anything but a fair override campaign. I am especially disappointed that
                    > TMMA would put on such a biased forum. I thought TMMA represented
                    > all of us
                    > at town meeting.
                    >
                    > Just a few things I would like you to consider before you cast your vote.
                    >
                    > After the failed override last year Town Meeting approved a $1.4 million
                    > dollar loan from
                    > The Pension Holiday Fund to balance the 2003 and 2004 budgets. If the
                    > override had passed we would not be the wiser. Is this the only way
                    > Lexington can balance their budget, with loans or overrides?
                    > Information was
                    > presented at Town Meeting.
                    >
                    > In April we received an average 9.9% increase in real estate
                    > taxes. Not two
                    > months later they are asking us to approve another $4.2 million dollar
                    > override. The override will increase taxes by 8.9% which will include
                    > proposition 21/2 or 2.5%, debt exclusion 1.4% and 1.2% for each
                    > million of
                    > the override. Did you receive19% increase in salary this year?
                    >
                    > Fact: For years we have been ILLEGALLY charged $750,000 in taxes
                    > through the
                    > Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund. They have had years to correct this but have
                    > continued to charge taxes through the enterprise fund. Information taken
                    > from town documents.
                    >
                    > Fact: Through the water/sewer indirect expenses the Town Manager,
                    > Assessor,
                    > Comptroller, Revenue Department and MIS received partial salary
                    > this year of
                    > 50% was 80% last year. There are many other questionable expenses.
                    > Information taken from town documents. Already there is talk about a debt
                    > exclusion override for 2006 to transfer enterprise expenses from the
                    > enterprise fund into the tax levy.
                    >
                    > Fact: The escalating water/sewer rate penalizes larger families
                    > because they
                    > have the greatest necessity for water. The more water you use the
                    > higher the
                    > rate. There is no data that this supports conservation. MWRA does not set
                    > the rates, Lexington does. Information taken from town documents.
                    >
                    > Fact: The east branch fire station will open and six police
                    > officers and one
                    > clerk will be reinstated WITHOUT the override in July of this year.
                    > Presented at TMMA YES forum.
                    >
                    > Fact: The town saved $788,000 on health insurance benefits this
                    > year. They
                    > applied $200,000 to the override and put the remaining $588,000 into a
                    > reserve or stabilization fund for the 2006 budget while asking
                    > for another
                    > override. Presented at Selectmen’s Meeting.
                    >
                    > Fact: Lexington has the revenue to pay for the Library and yard waste
                    > collection.
                    >
                    > Fact: If the override passes for Lexpress the total cost to the
                    > town will be
                    > $291,000 dollars. Should we continue subsidizing public transportation?
                    > Information presented at TMMA YES forum.
                    >
                    > Fact: Lexington is self-insured and can’t keep up with the
                    > escalating cost
                    > of health insurance. Should the town be in the health insurance business?
                    >
                    > Fact: While encouraging elderly members of our community to take
                    > advantage
                    > of the Tax Deferrals, they failed to mention that the payment of
                    > taxes and
                    > accrued interest is due upon the sale of the property or the death of the
                    > taxpayer. If the surviving spouse does not continue to defer, as of the
                    > critical date, the interest rate goes up to 16%; 6 months thereafter the
                    > treasurer may seek to foreclose the LIEN on the property if the deferred
                    > amount remains unpaid. Information taken from the Massachusetts
                    > Department
                    > of Revenue. If they didn’t have the funds to begin with how would
                    > they pay
                    > off the deferred loan? They would be locked in with no control over their
                    > property.
                    >
                    > Fact: From 1999 to 2003 there was an increase of 313 students and an
                    > increase of 94 school staff, average three students per school
                    > staff hired.
                    > Information taken from the Town Annual Reports.
                    >
                    > Fact: From 1999 to 2003 the school budget went up an average of
                    > $3.9 million
                    > per year. Information taken from the Town Annual Reports.
                    >
                    > Fact: In FY04, this year, the school budget has taken 63% of
                    > total revenue,
                    > plus shared expenses, plus capital expenses. Out of the 63% the schools
                    > receive 87% is for staff alone, leaving 13% for everything else, heat,
                    > lights, books, supplies, libraries, and equipment for all nine
                    > schools. Is
                    > it any wonder there are no books and pencils for the students.
                    > Information
                    > taken from the FY04 Summary.
                    >
                    > Fact: The teachers union does NOT work for the taxpayers or
                    > students. They
                    > wok for the dues paying teachers.
                    >
                    > Fact: The teachers union has an office, free of charge at the
                    > high school,
                    > which is contractual.
                    >
                    > Fact: Teachers union used school computer server for override campaign
                    > purposes. I have a copy of their e-mail.
                    >
                    > Fact: According to the Department of Education, the number of
                    > public school
                    > teachers in Massachusetts soared from 33,629 in 1991 to 70,236 in
                    > 2002. A
                    > 108% increase while student enrollment went up by only 17%. This only
                    > benefits the teacher’s union bottom line.
                    >
                    > Fact: Green sheets sent home with students is full of override
                    > information
                    > and scare tactics. I must also say some parents are NOT happy with the
                    > schools sending home this information with the students. I have received
                    > copies of the letters.
                    >
                    > Fact: Teachers union gave $5,000 to the Yes campaign.
                    >
                    > Fact: Of the 750 teachers, 550 are NOT Lexington residents. Do you think
                    > they would approve a 19% tax increase, in two months, in their town?
                    > Information taken from the Lexington School website.
                    >
                    > Fact: Many "No" signs have been stolen, and continue to be, as
                    > fast as they
                    > are out. Is this the way they want to convince the residents to
                    > support the
                    > Yes Campaign?
                    >
                    > I am not at all happy with the underhanded methods in which this override
                    > campaign has taken place. What I think or feel doesn’t matter to this
                    > community. To be totally ignored is insulting and irresponsible.
                    > Maybe, one
                    > day, you will care.
                    >
                    > I was NOT ALLOWED to speak at the TMMA biased YES forum which is on the
                    > tape.
                    >
                    > So much for honesty, fairness, respect, and difference of opinion.
                    >
                    > Bundled or unbundled, it’s an override.
                    >
                    > Vote No, No, No, No, No, No.
                    >
                    > Lorraine Fournier
                    > Town Meeting Member Pct 8
                    > Water/Sewer Enterprise Fund Committee Member
                    >
                    > _________________________________________________________________
                    > Get 200+ ad-free, high-fidelity stations and LIVE Major League Baseball
                    > Gameday Audio! http://radio.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200491ave/direct/01/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > =====================================================================
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                  • Larry Belvin
                    ... Hello, I would like to address this particular fact that Ms. Fournier is purporting as a fact . This statement is merely Ms. Fournier s opinion, and is
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 1, 2004
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: Lorraine Fournier [mailto:lfournier24@...]
                      > Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 8:44 PM
                      > To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [lexington] Override
                      >
                      > ...
                      >
                      > Fact: For years we have been ILLEGALLY charged
                      > $750,000 in taxes through the Water/Sewer
                      > Enterprise Fund. They have had years to correct
                      > this but have continued to charge taxes through
                      > the enterprise fund.
                      > Information taken from town documents.
                      >
                      > ...
                      >




                      Hello,

                      I would like to address this particular "fact"
                      that Ms. Fournier is purporting as a "fact".
                      This statement is merely Ms. Fournier's opinion,
                      and is not a fact at all. I too, along with
                      Ms. Fournier, am one of the nine members of
                      the Selectmen's Ad Hoc Water and Sewer Rate
                      Study Committee. The Committee is currently
                      examining many issues related to the water and
                      sewer rates, one of which is the $750,000
                      referred to above by Ms. Fournier.

                      The $750,000 represents what is termed
                      "Payments In Lieu Of Taxes" or PILOTs.
                      The Committee specifically asked Lexington's
                      Town Counsel (Palmer & Dodge) to comment on
                      the legitimacy of such charges, and town
                      counsel stated that there were very good
                      arguments to be made on both sides regarding
                      whether PILOTs are permissible. The state is
                      equally equivocal in its opinion of the
                      legality of this type of PILOT:

                      http://www.dls.state.ma.us/PUBL/MISC/EnterpriseFundManual.pdf

                      The relevant section about PILOTs is on pages
                      23-24 of this Enterprise Fund Manual:

                      "Question: Can a community charge an enterprise
                      fund a payment in lieu of taxes for property used
                      to provide the service?

                      Answer: Chapter 44 §53F½ states that the books
                      and records of the enterprise shall be maintained
                      in accordance with generally accepted accounting
                      principals (GAAP). From a purely accounting
                      perspective, a payment in lieu of taxes is a
                      proper expense of the enterprise fund. It is a
                      quasi-external transaction, that is, an interfund
                      exchange that would have resulted in recognition
                      of an expense or revenue if it had involved a
                      private party. The validity of such a charge does
                      not depend on the type of enterprise, but depends
                      on the type and amount of property used by the
                      enterprise. If the decision is made to proceed
                      with such a payment, the amount would be the
                      community’s commercial tax rate multiplied by
                      the assessed value of the enterprise’s land,
                      buildings and personal property. Notwithstanding
                      the foregoing, it must be noted that from a legal
                      point of view, it is not at all clear to what
                      extent a court would consider such a payment to
                      be part of the actual cost of providing the
                      service, and therefore an appropriate component of
                      the enterprise’s fee structure."

                      In case you are still with me, I hope you recognize
                      that the above is a rather impressive example of
                      waffling. The truth is that there have not yet
                      been any relevant court cases in Massachusetts to
                      determine the legality of a PILOT charge in an
                      enterprise fund. It is a distortion of the truth
                      to categorically claim, as Ms. Fournier does above,
                      that the Lexington Water and Sewer PILOTs are illegal.
                      Ms. Fournier is trying to claim that this is a
                      black-and-white issue while it should be clear from
                      the above that there are at least a few shades of
                      gray about PILOTs.

                      I do not know whether the rest of Ms. Fournier's
                      "facts" are as equally dubious as the one cited
                      above. Perhaps others who are informed about
                      some of her other "facts" will comment on their
                      areas of expertise.


                      Regards,
                      Larry Belvin

                      member, Selectmen's Ad Hoc Water and Sewer
                      Rate Study Committee


                      --

                      Larry Belvin
                      10 Denver Street
                      Lexington, MA 02421-6502
                    • Lorraine Fournier
                      Larry Chapter 44 section53F1/2 clearly states: ALL revenues may only be used to support the expenditures of the exterprise fund. At no time may these funds
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 1, 2004
                        Larry

                        Chapter 44 section53F1/2 clearly states: ALL revenues may only be used to
                        support the expenditures of the exterprise fund. At no time may these funds
                        be used to support ongoing municipal operations or subsidize the general
                        fund.

                        Lorraine


                        >From: "Larry Belvin" <larry.belvin@...>
                        >Reply-To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
                        >To: <lexington@yahoogroups.com>
                        >Subject: RE: [lexington] Override
                        >Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 22:28:09 -0400
                        >
                        > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > From: Lorraine Fournier [mailto:lfournier24@...]
                        > > Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 8:44 PM
                        > > To: lexington@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Subject: [lexington] Override
                        > >
                        > > ...
                        > >
                        > > Fact: For years we have been ILLEGALLY charged
                        > > $750,000 in taxes through the Water/Sewer
                        > > Enterprise Fund. They have had years to correct
                        > > this but have continued to charge taxes through
                        > > the enterprise fund.
                        > > Information taken from town documents.
                        > >
                        > > ...
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >Hello,
                        >
                        >I would like to address this particular "fact"
                        >that Ms. Fournier is purporting as a "fact".
                        >This statement is merely Ms. Fournier's opinion,
                        >and is not a fact at all. I too, along with
                        >Ms. Fournier, am one of the nine members of
                        >the Selectmen's Ad Hoc Water and Sewer Rate
                        >Study Committee. The Committee is currently
                        >examining many issues related to the water and
                        >sewer rates, one of which is the $750,000
                        >referred to above by Ms. Fournier.
                        >
                        >The $750,000 represents what is termed
                        >"Payments In Lieu Of Taxes" or PILOTs.
                        >The Committee specifically asked Lexington's
                        >Town Counsel (Palmer & Dodge) to comment on
                        >the legitimacy of such charges, and town
                        >counsel stated that there were very good
                        >arguments to be made on both sides regarding
                        >whether PILOTs are permissible. The state is
                        >equally equivocal in its opinion of the
                        >legality of this type of PILOT:
                        >
                        >http://www.dls.state.ma.us/PUBL/MISC/EnterpriseFundManual.pdf
                        >
                        >The relevant section about PILOTs is on pages
                        >23-24 of this Enterprise Fund Manual:
                        >
                        > "Question: Can a community charge an enterprise
                        > fund a payment in lieu of taxes for property used
                        > to provide the service?
                        >
                        > Answer: Chapter 44 �53F� states that the books
                        > and records of the enterprise shall be maintained
                        > in accordance with generally accepted accounting
                        > principals (GAAP). From a purely accounting
                        > perspective, a payment in lieu of taxes is a
                        > proper expense of the enterprise fund. It is a
                        > quasi-external transaction, that is, an interfund
                        > exchange that would have resulted in recognition
                        > of an expense or revenue if it had involved a
                        > private party. The validity of such a charge does
                        > not depend on the type of enterprise, but depends
                        > on the type and amount of property used by the
                        > enterprise. If the decision is made to proceed
                        > with such a payment, the amount would be the
                        > community�s commercial tax rate multiplied by
                        > the assessed value of the enterprise�s land,
                        > buildings and personal property. Notwithstanding
                        > the foregoing, it must be noted that from a legal
                        > point of view, it is not at all clear to what
                        > extent a court would consider such a payment to
                        > be part of the actual cost of providing the
                        > service, and therefore an appropriate component of
                        > the enterprise�s fee structure."
                        >
                        >In case you are still with me, I hope you recognize
                        >that the above is a rather impressive example of
                        >waffling. The truth is that there have not yet
                        >been any relevant court cases in Massachusetts to
                        >determine the legality of a PILOT charge in an
                        >enterprise fund. It is a distortion of the truth
                        >to categorically claim, as Ms. Fournier does above,
                        >that the Lexington Water and Sewer PILOTs are illegal.
                        >Ms. Fournier is trying to claim that this is a
                        >black-and-white issue while it should be clear from
                        >the above that there are at least a few shades of
                        >gray about PILOTs.
                        >
                        >I do not know whether the rest of Ms. Fournier's
                        >"facts" are as equally dubious as the one cited
                        >above. Perhaps others who are informed about
                        >some of her other "facts" will comment on their
                        >areas of expertise.
                        >
                        >
                        >Regards,
                        >Larry Belvin
                        >
                        >member, Selectmen's Ad Hoc Water and Sewer
                        >Rate Study Committee
                        >
                        >
                        >--
                        >
                        >Larry Belvin
                        >10 Denver Street
                        >Lexington, MA 02421-6502
                        >

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                      • Colin Godfrey
                        In a radio talk show yesterday discussing reason in politics a caller said that emotion always trumps reason in political discussions. I thought this was a
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 2, 2004
                          In a radio talk show yesterday discussing reason in politics a caller said
                          that emotion always trumps reason in political discussions. I thought this
                          was a very good point, and applies to our override campaign.

                          The amounts of money we are talking about in the current override don't seem
                          all that large, except for the school budget. As for the school budget it
                          seems to me that we'll shoot ourselves in the foot if we vote it down, if we
                          are homeowners, because the perceived quality of our schools is what keeps
                          people wanting to move to Lexington, and improves our real estate values.
                          The social value of giving a good education to the next generation also
                          drives many Lexingtonians.

                          Of course there are some people (Jed Snyder is one, I believe) who aren't
                          homeowners in Lexington and who therefore don't have any personal stake in
                          keeping their property values rising or conversely in keeping their real
                          estate taxes low. These people can take a more philosophical view, driven
                          by other concerns.

                          But I do believe that emotion does rule many people's decisions in this
                          override, which is why it's so hard to change people's minds with arguments
                          about the facts. It would be really interesting to know what these emotions
                          are and to think about how to address them. Tough to do in one week,
                          though.

                          Colin.
                        • Ann Redmon
                          As others have so clearly put it, the need for an override says nothing about our ability to live within our means, seeing as it is an arbitrary limit on
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 2, 2004
                            As others have so clearly put it, the need for an override says nothing
                            about our ability to live within our means, seeing as it is an arbitrary
                            limit on spending that does not take into consideration rapidly escalating
                            costs that are beyond the control of anyone in Lexington. And these jabs at
                            the teachers union and teachers' salaries go beyond the absurd; I challenge
                            anyone to find me a public school teacher who is getting anywhere close to
                            rich on their salary.

                            Lorraine, in her earlier post, and the Committee for an Affordable
                            Lexington, in the letter I received today, talk about water and sewer
                            enterprise funds being illegally used to support ongoing municipal
                            operations or subsidize the general fund, yet they offer no evidence that we
                            are paying more for water and sewer than they cost.

                            If everyone who thinks that our town government is doing such a poor job and
                            who is working so hard to oppose this override would put one fraction of
                            that effort into doing their part to help out and make things work better
                            instead of griping about how poorly run things are and making baseless
                            accusations about those who do put in the volunteer time, think about how
                            many of these problems might even just go away. Not only are these
                            complainers not part of the solution, they actually are part of the problem;
                            those who give of their time must put so much energy into countering the
                            complaints and accusations that it takes away from the effort they can put
                            into doing the work that needs to be done.

                            Ann Shildneck Redmon
                            Lexington, MA
                            mailto:ann@...
                          • Katya
                            Hi everybody, I m Katya and I m a junior at LHS. I ve been reading this list for a while now, and it sometimes makes me feel like maybe there s some good left
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 6, 2004
                              Hi everybody, I'm Katya and I'm a junior at LHS. I've been reading
                              this list for a while now, and it sometimes makes me feel like maybe
                              there's some good left in the world and sometimes it makes me very,
                              very angry.
                              I am very active in the music department at school; I'm in the honors
                              Concert Choir and will be in the Madrigal Singers next year, I started
                              a jazz a cappella group, I was in charge of publicity for the Spring A
                              Cappella Jamboree, I was in the fall musical Sweeney Todd, I've
                              accompanied various choruses at the school, and I help out the choral
                              director with anything that he needs help on. In a high school, a
                              department like this is extremely unusual. Lexington is known for its
                              music department; when the Concert Choir and Madrigals went to the
                              MICCA Choral Festival, another group there who won a gold medal kept
                              saying "What will Lexington do when <i>they</i> win their gold medal?"
                              What we have in Lexington is unusual and incredible, and we don't want
                              to lose it. We are a model to other people. Personally, I don't know
                              what I would do without the music department, as the teachers are more
                              than teachers to me; they are friends and confidants. I have so many
                              friends who feel the same way, and we would all be lost without this
                              privledge of wonderful teachers and opportunities. I feel truly
                              insulted when people put up No override signs for the, because we have
                              already had a significant portion of our music program taken away from
                              us (the choral department receives only $450 for the entire year,
                              which usually only buys one piece of music, and if we need more money
                              we have to raise ourselves). I feel as though the No people are being
                              extremely selfish and know very well that they are, yet don't seem to
                              care.
                              Before you vote No, think about me, think about my friend who can no
                              longer take Sculpture because it was cut from the curriculum and now
                              the teacher no longer has a job, think about the mere $450 the choral
                              department gets each year... consider all this and everything else
                              that will be lost if the override doesn't pass this year. Don't let
                              this town down.
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