With Belmont headed towards a likely override vote (or a few of them) in the coming days, I was interested to read this fine article in the Boston Globe on the phenomenon of “override moms” — concerned, suburban parents (generally moms — but not always!) who are pushing their communities to right by their schools, despite widespread budget shortfalls. The pull quote definitely comes from Randolph mom Kathy Haire, who says:
“Our kids deserve the best education we can give them,” said Haire, the mother of a senior at Randolph High School. “I look around my neighborhood and see the smaller kids and say, ‘If I’m able to do something to help, how can I turn my back?‘ ”
There’s also a priceless, poison pen quote from Barbara Anderson from Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation (who you can thank for Prop 2 1/2) that “These (moms) are people who have the spare time to do this…They are obsessed with what they want for their kids, which is a private school experience that they don’t have to pay for themselves.”
Nice! Anderson also claims that citizens pushing for overrides don’t have empathy for “old people, sick people, and people who can’t afford an override.”
As if cutting hours at the library, allowing the town’s physical infrastructure to deteriorate and taking cops and firefighters off the streets benefits the elderly in this town? In any case, this is the kind of politics of division (to us a phrase from the Obama campaign) that Belmont really needs to overcome if we’re to move forward. The bottom line is that adequately funding town services is a way of ensuring the basic social contract that’s preserved our community and our nation for centuries: that ensuring a better future for our children is the best way to make sure that we have security in our old age.
On a purely personal note — I was pleased to read the byline on the Globe story. Erica Noonan and I went to grade school together in Wellesley and both graduated from Wellesley Senior High in the late 1980s.