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Lea Russell: Widow says she’s priced out by passage of Northampton override

To the editor:

What a slap in the face to the people who can’t afford or didn’t vote for Northampton’s Proposition 2½ override to see a huge picture on the front page of Wednesday’s Gazette with people celebrating at a bar downtown.

What about a big picture of the people who were against it? I just don’t understand some people’s thinking sometimes. I have lived in this town for 40 years and I’m feeling like I’m being taxed out.

For starters, when my husband died I received surviving spouse credit. When I retired to less than a one-third of my original salary, I lost the surviving tax credit.

Something is wrong with that picture.

I voted for the tax override for the JFK Middle School addition without a pool. I didn’t feel we needed the pool, which officials had been thinking of closing on weekends.

I voted yes for police and fire department overrides for new stations, as we definitely needed the new buildings. I can’t even remember what the other overrides were for.

Now we face higher water and sewer rates. How high can you go?

I can’t afford to live in my home of 40 years. That is so wrong. I’m sorry it has come down to this but it’s getting ridiculous.

I looked at condos in other towns that cost more than my house is estimated to be worth and the taxes are much cheaper. We need to learn how to spend more wisely and keep better track of where money goes.

In case no one has noticed, a lot of for-sale signs are going up. Thanks to all who passed the override, I will now have to leave my home as I’m a widow with very limited income and cannot afford to live here any longer. My for-sale sign will be up real soon. I raised my family and my husband died here. Sorry it had to come to this.

Lea Russell


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