Category: budget

The Override Playbook: Chill ‘Em then Kill ‘Em

There’s good reason to be very, very, very suspicious of the Board of Selectmen’s call to delay a vote on an override. In fact, the push to delay a vote on the override is part of a well worn strategy for sinking it, altogether.

Selectmen on override: 6 months, 180 degrees

The question for those of you who are planning to attend tonight’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen should be “what has changed” for Belmont since last Spring, when both Selectman Jones and Paolillo ardently supported passage of an Override. If the town needed it in June, why is it suddenly unworthy in January now that our budget deficit has grown and all-important one time funds, such as the Federal ARRA grants, have dried up?!

Globe Covers Override Effort

Just a note, for those of you who didn’t see the article in Friday’s Boston Globe, that there’s a good write up on the effort to get a Proposition 2 1/2 override on the ballot by Sarah Thomas. You can read the article on

Five (Easy) Steps to Save Our Town and Schools

What can you do to show town leaders that you want to improve the quality of life in town and don’t want to see town and school services slashed any deeper? Here’s a check list of “to dos” over the coming weeks that will get you in the mix. It starts tonight with the Board of Selectmen’s meeting at Town Hall (7:15 PM). Put your body in the audience and let the Board of Selectmen know that you support putting a proposal for a Proposition 2 1/2 Override on the April town ballot.

Selectmen support smart parking meters

The Belmont Citizen Herald wrote up a story on a presentation I did for the Board of Selectmen this week on introducing smart parking meters around the commuter rail station. The BOS think its a great idea and want to move to a pilot. No Freeloader thinks its a terrible idea and that I’m a…wait for it…freeloader!!

Important Budget Goings On – Don’t Sleep Through ‘Em!

Just a heads up, y’all, that there are a slew of important budget meetings looming, starting this Tuesday evening, January 11, when School Superintendent, Dr. Entwistle will present the proposed FY 2012 budget to the School Committee. This meeting is in the Community Room at Chenery Middle School and will be the public’s first look at the budget for next year. From what I’ve heard, this is a “make the best of a bad situation” budget with some sobering numbers. We’ll need your help and involvement to win the funding our teachers and administrators need to preserve critical programming. Here are some dates to put on your calendar.

New Year’s Resolution (or how I learned to stop worrying and love parking meters)

After a hectic year of political races and an (unsuccessful) override vote, I wrapped my brain around a much smaller and more concrete question: could Belmont make money off of multi space parking meters? The answer: hell yeah! Read on for more…and for my New Year’s Resolutions

School Committee opens a loophole for Freshmen sports

Faced with a roomful of worried parents, the School Committee bends (a bit), giving tepid approval to an effort to raise private funds to maintain athletic programs that fell victim to a failed override effort. That’s good for Freshmen…maybe…but is it sustainable?

School Committee to discuss privately funded Freshmen Sports

The School Committee has tacked on an extra meeting onto its calendar to address the pressing issue of funding Freshman Athletics at Belmont High School. The meeting will be held on Monday, July 12, 2010 between 6:00pm and 10:00pm in the Community Room at Chenery. Are we seeing the beginning of a grass roots revolution in public education…or just middle class parents with their backs to the wall? Time will tell.

First the anger, now the cuts

Clearly there was a lot of anger out there – and maybe the “YES” campaign misread it, or maybe there was nothing to be done. In an environment in which so many private sector employees are losing their jobs, maybe some folks will find it cathartic to fire some public sector employees, so their families can suffer, too. That’s a mean sentiment, but I don’t doubt it exists. As for the services those employees provide…there will be fewer of them. Like what, you ask? Well, school for one — Belmont High is shortening extracurricular courses from full year to half year — part of a trend that has seen BHS eliminate 19 class sections in just the last two years to try to live within budget constraints.