Your View (site blog, not mine personally)
Build Arlington's Future kicks off yes-vote drive
UPDATED, April 28: Build Arlington's Future, the group that supported the successful 2016 debt exclusion, is behind a drive for yes votes in June.
“Build Arlington's Future” kicked off its campaign to educate voters about a debt exclusion to rebuild Arlington High School and a Proposition 2½ override to fund town and school budgets. An estimated 75 people were present Sunday, April 28, at the Elks Lodge, 56 Pond Lane.
Arlington residents learned more about the campaign. Speakers included Len Kardon, Jane Morgan, Dean Carman, Steve DeCourcey and Lauren Ledger.
“These two votes combined will set Arlington on a firm structural and financial footing for the future,” Dan Dunn, member of the Select Board and campaign cochair, said in an April 19 news release.
“Yes votes on both questions,” said Diane Mahon, Select Board chair, “mean Arlington can continue to provide services that everyone needs, from our students to our seniors, while being fiscally responsible.”
A four-year financial plan, which is supported by the Select Board and the School Committee, was created as the financial basis of the override vote.
“We promised voters during the last override in 2011 that we would not come back to them for three years. We made it until 2019,” said Dean Carman, a member of Arlington’s Finance Committee and campaign cochair. “Arlington has done a great job with its long-term planning, and this plan will allow us to continue to do so.”
The town has made commitments to the voters if the override passes that include the following:
- Not to request a Proposition 2½ override for at least four years
- Advance new tax relief programs and publicize existing relief programs for seniors and qualified residents
- Continue to pursue new revenue sources aggressively
- Address the funding shortfall created by school enrollment increases that are straining the school system and contributing to an achievement gap for high needs students.
“Dramatic enrollment growth has placed a lot of pressure on the budget, and we’re not able to fully meet the needs of all of our students,” said Jane Morgan, School Committee member. “This plan allows us to better serve all of Arlington’s young learners. I am grateful that the Select Board and School Committee are unified about the importance of meeting this need.”
“The high school building plan is the result of years of research, community meetings, and expert advice,” said Len Kardon, a School Committee member and campaign cochair. "The town has known that the current high school has a variety of serious problems related to its age and size, so Arlington started the process to address them years ago. We now know that the most cost-effective choice is to rebuild the high school, and the state has committed to reimburse us for $83 million of the cost.”
The townwide vote will take place on Tuesday, June 11. For more information on the campaign, go to www.buildarlingtonsfuture.org.
This news announcement, which includes a viewpoint, was published Saturday, April 20, 2019.
First announcement in March
In a newsletter, Juliet Moir and Lauren Ledger, fund-raising chairs for the campaign, have asked for financial support and advised supporters to expect further details soon.
The 2016 vote helped support renovating the former Gibbs School, rebuilding Minuteman High School and preliminary costs for rebuilding Arlington High.
The group has provided YourArlington with this statement:
Build Arlington’s Future has launched in support of yes votes on two Proposition 2½ ballot questions. Successful votes on June 11 will allow the town to:
- Build a new Arlington High School with substantial aid from the state.
- Replenish the town’s stabilization fund so Arlington can maintain current levels of services for residents.
Campaign volunteers will focus on connecting with voters and providing accurate information about the June 11 votes. Broad outreach will begin in April, after the Select Board votes to place these two questions on the ballot.
The board is awaiting some critical pieces of information before taking that vote:
- The AHS Building Committee submitted a final project budget of $291 million to the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) in February. In April the MSBA Board will vote on project approval and on MSBA’s financial contribution. This will determine Arlington taxpayers’ contribution.
- Between now and April, the Select Board is working with town residents, other elected officials, appointed boards, and town employees to determine the duration and size of the operating override.
This news announcement supporting a viewpoint was published Thursday, March 14, 2019.
YOUR VIEW: Opinions: AG, taxes, Hill's, news loss, poetry, Mugar, Alewife
FACEBOOK BOX: To see all images, click the PHOTOS link just below