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Robert Gould: Override too taxing for many in Northampton

To the editor:

I have resided in wonderful and unique Florence for over 11 years, and recently retired following a successful business and military career. My wife and I love this city and have made the decision to remain here for our retirement. In the past I have always fully supported the city fathers when they have requested additional monies to support our city’s services and schools, but I can no longer provide this support.

Here are my reasons:

• In these 11 years many of residents living along the lower Florence-Ryan Road area have complained, to no avail, the lack of speed enforcement in this 20 mph area. We have received no police or city support in reducing this dangerous area, and have been ignored too long. Why should I reward this poor service provided by our city with a large tax increase?

• Simple math tells us that with each tax increase, a new base is established for future tax increases. My taxes in 2013 increased several hundreds of dollars this past year, so by increasing to a proposed higher level, we will only see again and again much higher increases in the future! When is enough, enough? I am afraid that our unique citizen base will be forced out of our city.

• Stop using students as a political ploy to gain sympathy. Growing up in the 1960s on Long Island, I remember my school’s budget being defeated twice. We survived, and I still received a good education and went on to college. A child’s education begins at home with proper parenting. Parents need to teach children the meaning of “no” sometimes, and that includes learning that money is not always available.

• I have reviewed the budget and salaries on the city’s website. It appears to me that our city government has become bloated with middle managers, just like any bureaucracy does over time. Defeating this proposal should wake up our city father’s to the fact that they need to trim “fat.”

Defeating this tax increase should challenge our city fathers into reviewing and changing processes and procedures to become more efficient and effective. Just giving them more money defeats this process.

Northampton is a unique city, and it is our people who make it unique. I am now afraid that asking for additional monies will likely begin the “economic forcing out” of the people that make this city so unique.

This tax increase will take away our money to support local businesses. We citizens should contact our state representative to express our displeasure with how the state formula is sacrificing local government budgets. In the meantime, let’s work together to achieve improved ways of providing more efficient and effective government without further monetary sacrifices by our citizens. Until I see a more responsive and efficient Northampton government, I will vote no June 25.

Robert Gould

Florence

Legacy Comments1

Let me get this straight: the guy who says, "Stop using students as a ploy" is using speeders on Ryan Road as a ploy? Hypocrisy at its finest, Mr. Gould. Further, what qualifies you to determine what "fat" exists in the city government? Just because you looked at some numbers on a spreadsheet? Are you directly involved in the day-to-day activities of the city and therefore have some insight and context as to what you're talking about or do you just sit on your porch on Ryan Road and yell at passing cars?

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