Letter: The Town Needs Money

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“The Town needs money!” It’s the last phrase you want to hear, and the topic you would least like to discuss. Unfortunately it is true, and the discussions have led to a conclusion…Override! Full panic sets in, you can FEEL your wallet getting lighter, 15 reasonably good excuses pop in your head and your pulse quickens. I know how you feel, but I don’t think it’s all that bad…

My family moved to Reading 10 years ago, it’s been a good town to us. We had high expectations and they were met at every turn. It is a great community, parks, public spaces and forest area. People believe in Reading, it made me feel like I had made a good choice. Time moves forward and you go to work, start raising kids and just assume that your taxes cover all the towns’ expenses. I was shocked when I found out it didn’t come close.

I figured with such a great town came the highest paid teachers, police and fire. I thought with such a reputable school system, the buildings would be gleaming and every student got straight A’s. Nope.

Several years ago we needed more school space. The Town took 2 million out of its own account and made a great decision. I was impressed with their fiscal conservatism, pleased with the demand for excellence placed on the teachers, and shocked to see their salaries compared to other towns. I sat through a town meeting that opened my eyes, we haven’t asked our community for anything extra in 15 years, and the town needs a booster shot.

How much? Ah, the bottom line, the main event, where the rubber meets the road…not as much as you think. A ½ million dollar home pays an additional 500 dollars. That’s less than 10 bucks a week, or 1.40 a day…a large ice coffee cost 3.09.

I’m no hero, I work hard for my money and I have a dog in the fight. I know the value of a dollar, and I try to be a great dad, husband and citizen. If my kids get to enjoy the same public safety, great schools, and thriving community that brought us all here at one time or another…I’ll drink a medium.

Thank you for the time,

Matthew Digby
Winter Street

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