Special election to decide funding for school - Sentinel & Enterprise

With quite a bit more than the two-thirds majority vote required, town residents passed an article to be placed on a ballot that would address funding for the proposed John R. Briggs Elementary School during Special Town Meeting on Wednesday. Full Story
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citizen

Fitchburg, MA

#1 Nov 18, 2010
On December 16 we are voting NO.
Do The Right Thing

Marlborough, MA

#2 Nov 18, 2010
citizen wrote:
On December 16 we are voting NO.
On December 16th we are voting YES.
ANGRY

Fitchburg, MA

#3 Nov 18, 2010
Watch the houses go Down more now.
New resident

Flushing, NY

#4 Nov 18, 2010
I'm voting No.
Reality Check

Fitchburg, MA

#5 Nov 18, 2010
Vote no and we lose the money from the state and have to fund renovations ourselves. That means NO MONEY from the state. Apparently you didn't read the article, the building has been listed as a level 4 school, one of the worst in the state. You also weren't at the meeting, the Building Committee has spent years finding the best solution to a serious problem and which require us to act like adults and come up with serious solutions. Doing nothing is not an option. So if you know how much your taxes are going up (for my family just over $400.00 dollars/year, which I cannot afford) put that money aside when you get your federal tax refund and pay the increase in your property tax when you get the bill. And as someone said at the meeting (which you would know if you were there)if this was done 15 years ago we would have received more money from the state. .
concerned

Fitchburg, MA

#6 Nov 18, 2010
You do not need a school this size period (this is a way losera think)
Sue

Springfield, MA

#7 Nov 18, 2010
I just don't know when it is going to end... our taxes are so high right now...my husband is unemployed... what happens when we can't pay our taxes or mortgage and lose our houses. Then who is going to fund the school. We just invested in the middle school, then we re built the high school, now Briggs...

AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF they are going to raise our property values to make up for shortfalls so the $400.00 a year is going to be more like $500.00 a year...

YIKES!
10-penny hoar

Boston, MA

#8 Nov 18, 2010
I'm sure that the $500 extra will stay on people property tax bills looong after the debt is paid. It will be there forever.
Happy Teacher

Fitchburg, MA

#9 Nov 18, 2010
It was really great to see so many voters turn out to support our children at the special town meeting. Please remember to talk this project up to your friends and MAKE SURE they turn out to support us, and the children at the special election in December. As Mr. Vitone of the Board of Selectmen said, "If your taxes to too high you shouldn't have bought such a big house". He really is, "The Voice Of Reason".
ANGRY

Fitchburg, MA

#10 Nov 18, 2010
happy teacher another union sponge off the taxpayer cant wait fdor the next round of layoffs You and DOUBLE DIPPER Zapantas make a good pair!
hiram

Fitchburg, MA

#11 Nov 18, 2010
We will see how great it is!
sam

Fitchburg, MA

#12 Nov 18, 2010
Teacher stop bieng a sponge off the taxpayer
man oh man

Jamaica Plain, MA

#13 Nov 18, 2010
Reality Check wrote:
Vote no and we lose the money from the state and have to fund renovations ourselves. That means NO MONEY from the state. Apparently you didn't read the article, the building has been listed as a level 4 school, one of the worst in the state. You also weren't at the meeting, the Building Committee has spent years finding the best solution to a serious problem and which require us to act like adults and come up with serious solutions. Doing nothing is not an option. So if you know how much your taxes are going up (for my family just over $400.00 dollars/year, which I cannot afford) put that money aside when you get your federal tax refund and pay the increase in your property tax when you get the bill. And as someone said at the meeting (which you would know if you were there)if this was done 15 years ago we would have received more money from the state..
Please don't confuse the confused any more with facts! Their minds are made up! You and I know we need the school built now with the state's help... but the vote no people are not paying attention!! My kids are long gone from Briggs, but we sure need the new school now!
Happy Teacher

Fitchburg, MA

#14 Nov 18, 2010
Its really wonderful to see so many different viewpoints here. I too know how tough it is with tax issues: You should see what we pay in Jaffrey, not to mention my Massachusetts income tax, but, its for the children, police, firefighters and of course the roads and bridges. The Briggs project NEVER would have come about without the brilliant leasdership of Superintendent Zapantis, Mr. Christanson and Mr. Powers. Ashburnham and its people are truly blessed to have them. In keeping with the theme of Mr. Christianson's presentation, let's all concentrate on, "MOVING FORWARD". Also, as an aside, if you can't find a way to move forward, maybe you should just move?
ash resident

Worcester, MA

#15 Nov 18, 2010
The teachers in this town are an incredible asset. How dare someone be so vulgar towards them? Would you call the unemployed resident a sponge off the tax payer? By your logic I would imagine so...This schools is not the Ritz carlton people. Schools cost money...Period. We may not like all the requirements the state puts into funding a municipal building, but it is not something that is going to change within the time frame that we need to do something about this school. If you can't afford to live in a town and support it's infrastructure then get out. It IS a big bill. It will be over 400 a year for me. I CAN find a way to come up with that money because we need to.
The Right Thing

Gardner, MA

#16 Nov 18, 2010
Thank goodness for the showing of reason last night at the Special Town Meeting! Not voting for this to pass is absurd as you will STILL have to pay the SAME amount with the result being an OLD SCHOOL! HOW does that make sense to you? As far as teachers being sponges...just stop. I am a teacher in another district and haven't received a 3% pay increase (cost of living) in ? 15 years! like the Town Clerk received last night. So, just stop. Can you blame the teachers for not wanting to work in a building that is "sick" with mold and poor air quality?! Would YOU want to work in those conditions? Would you want your child to have class in a hallway? on the stage in the cafetorium? in 20 year old portables that smell like sewage? in class sizes that are above recommended numbers for success? Oh yeah...what a sponge that teacher is. Isn't it great Happy Teacher to get the respect we deserve from the community? The common laypeople have NO IDEA what goes on all day in the classroom. It is not just a job...it is an underpaid profession that only certain people are good at. Is the union perfect? Nope. Keeps some bad teachers in there but there's good to it also. We do not get to collect social security, for example, even if we put into it for years before coming a teacher (like me) but end up with a decent retirement IF we stay in the game and teach for 30 years. All the poor teacher wants is a safe, clean building and I'm guessing she would like it for the benefit of the kids...not the adults as most elementary teachers make so many sacrifices monetarily, emotionally, and personally. Stop the insanity and do what's best for the future. And yes Mr. Vitone...people ARE buying too much house for their pocketbooks. People are spending without having the money. Don't complain if you didn't plan wisely!
citizen

Fitchburg, MA

#17 Nov 18, 2010
Vitone has 4400 acres of land who is he to say people live in to big of a house, just because he lives in a box of a house he should not have envy.
Jim

Fitchburg, MA

#18 Nov 18, 2010
the taxpayers continue to get raked over the coals, the town has overspent for several years forcing tax increases.

Now they are getting hit again and will continue to get hit until someone puts the brakes on the spending and building.

The school may need it, but that should have been thought of before all the other building and over spending took place over the past few years.

yes, this tax increase will never go away, even after the debt is paid off, Townsend found a way to keep it after the debt was paid off, so I'm sure Ashburnham will follow suit.
Tuff Times

Worcester, MA

#19 Nov 18, 2010
The times are tough but the school is a dump. We all have to dig a little deeper and do the right thing. If this is not approved we lose the funding and they will have to make renovations to the dump anyway. I'm voting yes because it makes sense. After this project the town needs to cool it and be happy with all the capital projects we've approved over the years.
Vote Yes

Ashburnham, MA

#20 Nov 18, 2010
Dear Citizen,

Trust me, Vitone does not have to live in a small house, he chooses to. Many people spend beyond their means because they think they are "entitled"....no wonder our kids think they as well are "entitled". Instead of fighting with each other we should be thinking of ways to build a stronger community. One of those ways would be to give our community a healthy and "up to code" school. With a good school system...we could make our schools even better. More people would want to live here. We got to start thinking of the "greater good" of the community. Also, you fail to realize that we will have to get a new school, whether Ashburnham pays 45% or 100% that is up to you.

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