To the Editor:
At the November 25 Town Meeting, it is likely that a small number of voters, perhaps fewer than 100, will decide whether or not the Community Preservation Act should be placed on the Spring ballot. Voting yes on the CPA articles doesn’t make them law. That happens at the ballot, where all voters get to decide if Rochester wins or loses from adopting CPA.
Town meeting is a great New England tradition, but any evening meeting is difficult for families with young children who would have to hire a baby sitter, the elderly who choose not to drive at night, for folks from the workforce who travel or have exhausting work days.
If CPA opponents who are putting yard signs out believed in letting the people decide, they would vote in favor of putting the question on the ballot, rather than trying to shoot it down at Town Meeting. For those of us in favor of CPA, it is hard not to look at their yard signs and see a very narrow message: No New Taxes.
No New Taxes may be a nationwide battle cry and may be the right one for many situations, but not always. Most homeowners agree that putting money aside for major projects is a smart way to budget. Christmas Clubs and change jars are a fixture in most homes. That is what CPA wants Rochester to do. Put a sum of money, based on Real Estate taxes, into a dedicated Rochester Fund that will be administered by Rochester residents to spend in Rochester. The fact that it will be matched at 52% this year by a state trust fund makes it a no-brainer. How can we pass up a savings account that earns 52%?
I suggest that Rochester voters watch on ORCTV.org VIMEO channel the CPA Forum that was held at the Senior Center on November 13. Stuart Saginor from the Community Preservation Organization explained the program from a state and local level. Speakers from Acushnet and Carver explained how CPA has benefited their towns.
Please join me at Town Meeting on November 25, 7:00 pm at RMS and vote to allow the CPA to be placed on the spring ballot, where all Rochester residents can decide if it is right for our town.
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