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
> 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
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