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Irene Newell: Override’s passage lacks civic compassion

To the editor:

On June 27 the Gazette published a letter in response to the passage of the Proposition 2½ override on June 25. I have since read this letter a dozen times because it so intrigued me.

I came to the realization that one word in the letter — compassion — meant so much. This vote did not show compassion.

Yes, Northampton, shame on you.

Irene Newell


Legacy Comments4

I agree. The vote will only make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The proponents of the vote are badly misguided.

Tom, they're not misguided. They just don't care.

They are a very selfish generation - all for me and the heck with you.

i think it's interesting to call people who voted to support schools, fire and police selfish! I have never had to use the fire department myself (knocking wood madly), nor the police. But I am happy to pay taxes to support their existence for everyone in the community. They save lives and help keep our community civil. That is not selfish, that is community-minded. My youngest son is close to graduating high school. The selfish thing would be for me to say, "Well my kids are all educated now, I'm done paying." But that's not how community works. We all pay so that we can have schools and paved roads and fire, ambulance, police, for everybody. It's actually the opposite of selfish. It's the opposite of uncaring. The motivation, in fact, is 80 percent compassion, I'd say. This vote, in fact, supports the less affluent part of the community. Rich people are fine! If the schools suck, no problem -- they just send their kids to private school. Neighborhood starts to get scary? Hire a security service. The rich don't need these services the way the rest of us do! Anyway, it's too bad it's caused this feeling among those who don't support the override. But it would be nice (and compassionate) if you stopped calling the majority of citizens selfish, uncaring, etc. and try to consider why they might have felt compelled to support this community-minded move, even if it meant making some cuts in their own budgets.

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