Say no to athletic bond and yes to citizens petition in Brookline

To the Editor:

On March 3, at 7 p.m. is the SAU 41 annual meeting at the Hollis Brookline High School. Voters are requested to approve a $5.5 million dollar bond proposal for new fields, 1,000-person bleachers, press boxes, artificial turf, field lighting, PA systems, concession stands, school building expansion and road construction.

In addition the operating budget proposed adds another $500,000 (raises, bonuses and another contingency fund) in spending for a total of $21,024,920. For Brookline, it equals another pounding of $322 in additional yearly taxes on a $350,000 home and $460 on a $500,000 home or another 11 percent tax hike. The tax burden has more than tripled in Brookline over 15 years.

Most of the tax burden “pie” is represented by SAU 41. To any newly arrived resident dismissing this increase as but a one time “spike” in an otherwise stable-tax environment, please be advised this is an almost yearly event. This year’s proposals are clearly “wants” not necessities – they are not mission critical. Enrollments are dropping and projected to continue to drop by 225 students over the next eight years. Needs outweigh wants. Brookline truly needs property tax relief now! Vote “no”.

Lastly but equally important, be aware there are three articles on the warrant proposed by citizen petition to restore balance, control and sanity to the spending and taxation process. They should have been enacted years ago. They need your “yes” vote on March 3.

These annual meetings are typically low turnout, lacking anything approaching an adequate level of representation by taxpayers, which is a principle reason we are in this terrible state of affairs. Brookline has been on an unsustainable tax and spend treadmill for far too long. Your votes on March 3 will bring taxpayer relief that is urgently needed!

To learn more, visit SAU 41 Taxpayer Information at http://sau41.com.

PETER WALKER

Brookline