"The weather is warming, flowers are blooming and municipalities across the state are hosting Town Meetings, a form of local government dating back more than 300 years, which historically has given residents the opportunity to help decide on various issues related to local governance and spending.
More recently, however, the scope of Town Meeting decisions has narrowed for many communities, and a lot of time is spent debating whether to fund new municipal projects, such as schools, libraries and senior centers.
Approval of such projects typically translate into higher taxes for property owners, which advocates say is necessary to ensure dilapidating municipal buildings and outdated schools are safe and adequate for residents and children.
Opponents, meanwhile, say the process is increasingly becoming a popular way for local governments to pay for projects that should otherwise be affordable within existing municipal budgets, especially at a time when local coffers are growing with the recent surge of new development and rising property values realized across the state."
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Editor's Note: An override is always a sensitive topic but we need to change that perception and have a real conversation about how we want to live here in Franklin. What services do we need? How should we support our schools? Repair our roads?
The School Committee held Legislative Forums in both February 2018 and 2019 to start the conversation on some of the systemic problems that the State needs to correct. The Town Council chose not to include us in the public conversation until the second budget hearing.
Next year is predicted to be another budget challenge. We need to have the conversation regularly from now until the budget cycle starts again. When we get together for the Strawberry Festival, the 4th of July, and other public events, part of the conversation should be around how we support ourselves.
|Kit Brady speaking for better funding for schools and our children|
Kit Brady speaking for better funding for schools and our children. #tc0523 pic.twitter.com/DGORGq7KAP— Steve Sherlock (@FranklinMatters) May 23, 2019