Please Say Yes To Reading

trp-001I hope that the residents of Reading come out on Tuesday, October 18th and vote YES to support our children’s education, our property values, our police department, our fire department, and our town.    

If this override doesn’t pass it won’t just be “status quo,” and there will be a material impact to the town, to the schools, and to our property values. We can’t lose 30 teachers and staff members.  The class sizes will be bigger.  If technology breaks, it won’t be replaced.  The teachers are going to have more stress with less help and larger classes (mind you they are currently underpaid).  I don’t want this for my elementary school children.  There is enough stress on these children and teachers with the demands of state standardized testing. They don’t need additional stressors.  I want our high school kids to be able to take advantage of all types of classes that will help them to exceed – in particular AP classes.  I don’t want additional classes cut because they don’t have funding to teach them.

We can’t cut ten town jobs and $1 million of their budget.  How do you think that will affect the safety and resources of our town?  We are looking to fill a position of town economic developer who can help us make this town even better and improve local businesses.  If we can’t compete with salary compared to our peer towns we will never find a qualified candidate.  The Recreation Department, that so many of our children are involved in, will have major cuts, if not completely cut.  Not passing this override will affect us all.  If our schools don’t perform and succeed exceed and our town doesn’t draw residents, our kids and suffer, our home values will suffer. suffer, and we all suffer.  I am not ready to risk that.

To me it is just common sense to vote YES.  The last override in Reading was in 2003, 13 years ago!  The state average on approving overrides is every eight to ten years.  During the last 13 years Reading has done a really good job in spreading the dollar and making it work, but we they are now at a point where it can’t be spread any further.  It’s common sense that expenses have increased significantly more than 2 ½% since 2003.  One easy example: on average insurance premiums in Massachusetts have increased approximately 62% since 2003.  Do the math.

I have heard many say, “they don’t like how the town is being run” or “where is all the money going,” and that is why they will vote NO.  Well, don’t just sit back and complain.  Get involved.  Understand the budget process and where the money really goes.  Become a town meeting member so you can help make future decisions on where the money goes.  And most importantly, vote YES on October 18th.

Melissa Murphy
Van Norden Road

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