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246WVN Newsletter #226: Reiss running for re-election

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  • waylandvoters1
    Jan 10, 2008
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      Dear Wayland voter,

      Selectman Alan Reiss has announced his bid for re-election in
      April and is quietly campaigning through his website, handing
      out cards at the Landfill and promising to oppose a property tax
      override this year.

      In his first three-year term he has often been the lone voice
      opposing the Board of Selectmen majority. At
      www.AJReiss.com <http://www.AJReiss.com> he predicts that
      covering the projected budget deficit would raise tax bills by an
      average of 8 percent.

      Before the Fiscal 2007 override Reiss argued unsuccessfully for
      a "menu" override rather than the all-or-nothing choice that the
      other selectmen presented. His colleagues also ignored his
      argument that vital public safety services should take
      precedence over other expenditures, including the schools.

      One Reiss projection certain to produce political sparks is that
      increasing the average school class size from 20 to 22 would
      save more than enough to offset the expected $2.6 million
      budget shortfall. Schools account for about two-thirds of the
      town budget.

      Reiss says that Wayland ranks first among peer towns in
      school spending in relation to median income, which he
      considers the best measure of taxation affordability. He cites
      recent estimates that half of Wayland's families have incomes
      under the median of about $111,000 annually, and 22 percent
      make less than $50,000.

      "Having an override every other year (or less) to balance our
      operating budget is not the formula to be fair and reasonable to
      all," Reiss says.

      It will be interesting to see who runs against him. Though he
      has been on the losing side of important 4-1 votes, some
      groups may seek to eliminate even one maverick. Reiss has
      approximately zero chance of support from the pro-school
      political action group SOS Wayland and from WaylandeNews.

      Selectman Joe Nolan's seat is also open in April. If he runs for
      re-election he can expect support from the same forces that
      supported him and his predecessor, Betsy Connolly.

      -- Michael Short
      WVN Newsletter #225 incorrectly identified Michael DiPietro as
      the town treasurer. He is the finance director.
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      Wayland Voters Network
      Michael Short, Editor