Donnelly flier blasts Wong on taxes

Mayoral candidate Thomas Donnelly sent out fliers Saturday saying his opponent, Lisa Wong, wants to raise taxes for homeowners. Full Story
John K

Sarasota, FL

#1 Nov 1, 2007
I am a former resident of Fitchburg now is Florida, looks like to me Donnelly is running scared, here in Florida we call what he is doing " Playing Dirty" I sure wouldn't want him running the City if I were still living there..........

South Weymouth, MA

#2 Nov 1, 2007
Here we go again with Donnelly... We haven't heard much out of him that isn't an attack on Wong or previous contending candidates. "Playing Dirty" is right.

United States

#3 Nov 1, 2007
Nice tactic Donnelly, way to make yourself look even more ridiculous. Wong will still receive my vote on election day.

Plainville, CT

#4 Nov 1, 2007
Mr. Donnelly, being a lead character in the "political cast of characters" in Fitchburg politics, failed in one of his most important responsibilities, "protecting city finances"! After spending eight years on the city council, and being a member of the finance committee, he now says the political system in Fitchburg is flawed and wants that system, the one he derived all his political experience from, to be reorganized. His plan to "rescue" Fitchburg's financial future is through the use of outside financial experts and realistic short term and long term budget planning. This happens to be the last available option left before the city falls into receivership.
So you see, Mr. Donnelly with his "political cast" of characters, has been using "fuzzy math" and "unrealistic" budgets during his many years experience on the city's finance committee. A committee that literally drove city finances into the ground. With that being said, Mr. Donnelly has a great deal of nerve attacking his opponent with tax fear tactics. There are still many unanswered questions regarding his own political baggage. Why did he ignore or refuse to challenge the "flawed" political system he"s been part of all those years? How could he possibly make any informed decision without first making a detailed enquiry or systematic examination of all financial facts before his vote on any city matter? And why did he and his constituents politically disguise a recent tax hike vote through water fee hikes, sewer fee hikes and trash fee hikes which are clever but deceptive substitutes for tax hikes that have been hidden behind political "smoke and mirrors"?
One another note! Apparently Mr. Donnelly’s appetite for the Mayors seat recently revealed one of his many political shortcomings. Feeling compelled to expose the Mayor at his last finance committee meeting (FATV), in what he believes may be a political anomaly to the tune of a $835.000 revenue shortfall, Mr. Donnelly presented financial data from the water department while making it known to the committee that he used The Freedom of information Act (FIA) to obtain that information. It was made very clear during the meeting that his researched data was available for anyone upon request and without the need of an FIA request form. His "needless" use of the FIA form to obtain financial data from one of his very own public utilities which is publicly funded says volumes about his political strengths, or lack thereof.
With all his years experience on the city's finance committee, is it that unreasonable to expect that he should have developed political leads with free access to all the city's financial data? Through logic and deductive reasoning, an inference can certainly be drawn that this may very well be Mr. Donnelly's first attempt at researching any financial data from the water department. This raises other important questions!
Why "being a city finance member", did he feel the need to use The Freedom of Information act to access city financial data? How many other times has he used the FIA to access city financials? And what financial data did he use on his vote to raise water, sewer and trash fees?
Chris in NH

Amherst, NH

#5 Nov 1, 2007
Yet another former resident chiming in here...

I detect an obvious bias on the part of the reporter who wrote this article: unattributed remarks in the 10th paragraph suggest homeowners would be burdened with a mere $5.18 increase. Wong's imprimatur is implicit here, I suppose.

In the following paragraph, unattributed remarks link Donnelly's involvement to a whopping $2500+ average tax bill.

I'm working from memory, but didn't the Sentinel recently report that Wong was in favor of going to a single tax rate for both residential and commercial property? Wouldn't that shift more of the tax burden onto residential taxpayers?

Is Wong saying the tax burden on homeowners would stay largely the same? There's no free lunch; with all the savings commercial property owners in Fitchburg will be enjoying with Wong in charge, how will the city make up the revenue? "Holistically?" Aren't you operating in the red already? How's that going to help your bond rating?

Given that I recently read in the Sentinel that Fitchburg ranks very high among communities experiencing foreclosures, do you folks really want a higher residential tax rate?

Anyway, there's no reason for undue concern - you'll get the government you deserve. You always have.

Long Island City, NY

#6 Nov 1, 2007
Donnelly attackes based on a vote he himself has made in the past! More ridiculous attempts to frame an opponent negatively. Flaming over the difference between 136/137 is total desperation in my opinion.

if Fitchburg employs a duel tax rate and other Cities do not, wouldn't that make for decent comparisons as to population and rates for Cities? That kind of analysis would greatly assist residents in understanding where Fitchburg sits in comparison.
Chris in NH

Amherst, NH

#7 Nov 1, 2007
I agree. But I think this kind of discussion should be out in the open.

Seems to me Wong has come out in favor of a single tax rate. Yet this article seems to be imputing to Wong the notion that the tax "shift" should be adjusted slightly (i.e. by one percentage point.)

I don't think that's her position, and "I support holistic plans that look to benefit business, homeowners and the city as a whole," doesn't really constitute an answer to Donnelly's charge, nor would it reassure me if I owned property in Fitchburg and were worried about my own tax bill. It's a pretty disingenuous answer. She's slicker than Donnelly, no question.

And I don't think Donnelly's "attack" is based on a past vote of his. I don't think the he's trying to split hairs with respect to 136 or 137 either. My reading of the article is that the reporter picked up those numbers talking with Wong.

Rather, I think Donnelly is trying to characterise Wong as the candidate who will raise residential property taxes. Based on my reading, she plans to. We'll see.


#8 Nov 1, 2007
I will not vote for Donnelly because of his negative tatics,he spends more time trashing his opponent than he does talking issues. He's a Mylott clone.
Former Fitchburg Resident

Damariscotta, ME

#9 Nov 1, 2007
Yet again the Hypocrite-At-Large Tom "Mylott Light" Donnelly comes out with more stupidity.
"A review of Donnelly's voting on the tax classification issue since 2001 shows he has a mixed record. Some years he has voted to increase the tax shift, while in other years he has voted to decrease the shift." (S&E quote). What this means that is that Mr. Donnelly has voted to RAISE TAXES. YES, HE HAS VOTED TO RAISE TAXES.
Mr. Donnelly wants do everything he can to sway the voters from a potential landslide. After all, why is it that he is backed by the likes of Annie De Martino, and Norman Boisvert of the City Council. Both of which have railed against the spending issues of the Mylott Adminstration, but has done exactly the opposite to the needs of the city.

Long Island City, NY

#10 Nov 1, 2007
"Under the 137 percent shift, the owner of a $219,934 house pays a yearly bill of $2,585. Under Wong's plan to shift 136 percent, the same resident's tax bill would increase by $5.18 a year.
"And I don't think Donnelly's "attack" is based on a past vote of his. I don't think the he's trying to split hairs with respect to 136 or 137 either. My reading of the article is that the reporter picked up those numbers talking with Wong." No, Donnelly voted for 137, Wong said she would propose 136.
Do you know what the word Holistic means?
Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts:
Former Fitchburg Resident

Damariscotta, ME

#11 Nov 1, 2007
Also, I would like to say this much. I had to go back to Fitchburg over a bill. I saw a sign in the Tax Assessor's office that stated the tax rates, and upon seeing this, the Business Rate in Fitchburg, is actually HIGHER than the residential rate. Yet, Mr. Donnelly would rather add to disparity even more?

I guess the best way to bring this to people in Fitchburg is this. Ask yourself this question: "Has Fitchburg been better off during the past 6 years of the Mylott Administration?"

As a former resident of Fitchburg, who was born in Fitchburg, lived in Fitchburg in 1988, and the last 7 years, I have seen two Fitchburgs. One with a Main Street, full of business, crime down to reasonable levels, and plenty of work, and a city in decent condition. Coming back to Fitchburg in the year 2000, I see Main Street full of bars, a soup kitchen, Human Service agencies, and plenty of homeless people with prostitutes and drug dealears. Also the city's streets were like roads in Ashby, and large job loss.

If you love your city...take it from one who lived in Fitchburg...Lisa Wong is your choice.

Mr. Donnelly is another Mylott stooge!

“Baise toi.”

Since: Nov 07

Amherst, NH

#12 Nov 1, 2007
Thanks for clearing that up Hawk.

So is that the plan she's running on? To change the tax "shift" from 137% to 136%? Is that what taxpayers should expect from Wong?

Long Island City, NY

#13 Nov 1, 2007
I don't know if she has a comprehensive plan detailed. I got that quote from the Sentinel. In truth, the two candidates may not be all that far apart.

I wish Donnelly would have avoided the attack dog tactics, there might have been more chances for gathering information. get to the debates if you can.

“Baise toi.”

Since: Nov 07

Amherst, NH

#14 Nov 1, 2007
Doesn't look like a quote though. The only quotes I see from Wong in that article are "exactly wrong" and "I support holistic plans that look to benefit business, homeowners and the city as a whole."

From your reading of Wong's remarks both in this article and from other sources, do you think she intends to raise taxes on residential property while lowering it for commercial property? That's what I think.

Framingham, MA

#15 Nov 2, 2007
Even if we went to a single tax rate would that really attract businesses?
Fitchburg's population and crime rate along with no immediate access to Rt2 really makes no sense. I guess it is worth a shot if relators worked with area for property. Do we need more car lots and car parts stores?
I hate driving in Fitchburg because that is all you see.

Boston, MA

#16 Nov 2, 2007
Everyone forgets to mention, it is the job of the council to vote on changing the tax rates - NOT THE MAYOR! what a non-issue!

And really, all cities have crime. Fitchburg's crime rate is not out of step with other cities. While that is not a great thing for us, it is not a great thing for ANY city. Give it a rest people.
Former Fitchburg Resident

Damariscotta, ME

#17 Nov 2, 2007
To Hawk, Bella, Bileman and Ron:

First Hawk, a Holistic approach, would include having a financial vision that Mayor Mylott did not even have a clue in his 6 years in office on the finances of the city. Secondly, It would include more accountability in City Hall. After 7 years in Fitchburg, that word has been spelled J-O-K-E (Accountability=Joke). Thirdly, a plan to bring business into Fitchburg, which doesn't include dumping more money into the Police Dept., which only brought more drugs and drinking establishments, adding to more human service offices on Main Street. Not a very nice place to take the family on a Friday Night..

Hawk, we have seen the broad brush of the Mylott Administration. Mr. Donnelly along with his fellow councilors/campaign supporters, Annie DeMartino, and Norman Boisvert, and Stephen Hay, have that same approach, which is more of what Dan Mylott has given Fitchburg.

As to Bella and Ron, Fitchburg has a lot more crime than you would figure. Problem is that the only approach is to fly around in cruisers. Even people in the neighborhoods say the same thing. Lisa Wong's approach is Community Policing, something that Chief Cronin, got thrown out by his charges...for the same thing.

Mr. Donnelly would spend more, on more Police, regardless of whether the city can afford to pay them (as layoffs are going to happen as per Police Sources interviewed in this paper..weeks ago.)

John K

Fitchburg, MA

#18 Jun 26, 2012
John K wrote:
I am a former resident of Fitchburg now is Florida, looks like to me Donnelly is running scared, here in Florida we call what he is doing " Playing Dirty" I sure wouldn't want him running the City if I were still living there..........
Stamos? John K ??

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