Richard Marsh: City shows more concern for poor than for working poor
To the editor:
To the mayor and City Council of Northampton, I say this: You received your override, but more importantly, once again you pitted neighbor against neighbor. Just because you don’t see it does not mean it hasn’t happened and it sits squarely on your shoulders.
Every “vote yes” sign represents a person who had no right to stick his hand in another man or woman’s pocket. If you think people take kindly to that, you are wrong. Saying “let the voters decide” is a cop-out. The same percentage will hand it to you, and the same percentage will be marginalized and their voices and needs discarded. Looking at a deficit, blaming the cuts that virtually everyone else in the state and country are dealing with without asking neighbors to speak for another neighbor’s ability to pay and saying put an override on the table is the opposite of leadership. These leaders ran for office and should now deal with the cuts.
If the schools have to suffer for a while, so be it. If city departments have to suck it up and work harder, so be it. These leaders should speak to their constituents and tell them we will get through it. They would get a lot more respect for that. Do they think Teddy Roosevelt would whine? George Washington? JFK? No. They were leaders who would guide their people through tough times without turning one against the other. What will they say to those who are retired and living on fixed incomes? They seem to have a lot of compassion for the poor living on our streets, yet no regard for the working poor, or the thousands who have worked all their lives, contributed tens and hundreds of thousands to their city in real estate taxes.