The Day of Reckoning
July 10th Town Meeting
July 10th Special Town Meeting at the High School will
determine what kind of town North Andover will be for
years to come.
Will North Andover become a Gated Community
that only the rich, powerful and greedy can afford to
Or will North Andover come to its senses and show respect
for its seniors, townies and young families
struggling to make ends meet?These questions will be
answered by those residents motivated enough to show up
at the Special Town Meeting and vote on the
implementation of a town-wide trash tax.
The trash tax, expected to cost the average household
$300 per year, is being forced on the town by a small
group of individuals who believe that more money is the
only answer to all of the towns problems. Schools
underperforming? Spend money. Public safety an issue?
Spend money. Barking dogs a problem? Spend more money.
Unfortunately, the money these advocates want to
spend has to be extracted from the pockets of other
people, many of whom dont share their views. Such
action by a selfish few to impose their will on the
majority is akin to a medieval band of marauders invading
and plundering a local hamlet. They simply demand more of
what you have, regardless of whether or not you have the
ability to pay.
This all started just prior to the June 5th Town Meeting
when the tax-and-spend proponents colluded with the
School and Finance Committees to push for an unbalanced
budget with revenue to be raised later. This was a thinly
veiled ruse for a trash tax since the FinCom had already
identified such a tax as the only source of revenue large
enough to make up the deficit. Welcome to the world of
North Andover credit-card financing.
The tax-and-spenders packed the town meeting with their
supporters and pushed through the cleverly named TBB
Budget against the recommendations of the Board of
Selectmen. TBB stands for To Be Balanced (the
epitome of wishful thinking), and the proponents were
flitting around town meeting with their cute little TBB
Budget stickers on their shirts and blouses. It reminded
me somewhat of my old kindergarten days when we would
play with colored stickers while the teacher taught us
The school spending zealots, who were behind this effort
to get more money, even went to the extreme of having
Youth Soccer cancelled the night of town meeting so that
parents could attend to vote for the TBB budget. I
thought it was supposed to be all about the
children, but I guess it really is all about
using the children. These adults should be ashamed
The same spending advocates are also once again using
scare tactics to justify the need for more money. They
claim 28 teachers will be let go and high school
accreditation will be in jeopardy if the trash tax doesnt
pass. However, one sane School Committee member, Dr.
Charles Ormsby, has offered an alternative plan that cuts
administrators instead, saving all the teachers
jobs. He even restores a teacher cut at the Sargent
school in the last round of reductions and adds several
literacy teacher aides in the early grades. When the plan
was presented to the whole School Committee, it was voted
down 4 to 1. The Committee then went ahead to recommend
the 28 teacher cuts as widely reported in the
newspapers. This is the same sorry scare tactic used in
the failed 2002 tax override.
On July 10th we face the implementation of a new trash
tax that will aggravate just about everyone. The current
plan which could be revised at any time
calls for a $150 flat tax for every household now getting
trash pick-up AND a $1.50 per bag fee. The worst part is
that ONLY town-sold trash bags can be used. All
homeowners will have to go down to town hall, the DPW
building or some other designated location to purchase
the bags. If you dont use a trash bag sold by the
town (probably a bright color), very simply, your trash
will not be picked up. It will just be left at the curb
in front of your home.
The problem with the new trash tax/fee program is that
its all about the money. The trash fees
are not being enacted to improve the environment. They
are not being established to enhance recycling. They are
not being put in place to reduce the amount of trash
North Andover residents dispose of. The trash tax is
being foisted on us for one reason only: the town wants
the money to pay for its out-of-control spending.
Spending beyond its means has been a problem in this town
for years. It will continue next year and every year
afterwards unless the citizens rise up and shout out at
the top of their lungs Enough is Enough!!
The way to do that is to attend the Special Town Meeting
on Monday evening, July 10th, 6:30 p.m. at the High
School. Then raise your voting card high into the air,
signaling to town leaders you are against this ridiculous
That will send the message. This is your last and only
chance to have an impact. You NEED to be there
or suffer the consequences.
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The June, 2006 Edition
of the Valley Patriot
The Valley Patriot is a Monthly
All Contents (C) 2006, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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Valley Patriot Archive
Prior columns by TomDuggan
Classroom Credit to Support
Trash Talk in N. Andover
The NY Times & Treason
Actions Speak Louder Than
Tom Duggan's Notebook
Mill City Maulers To Play Stadium
Planning for our Future