Friday, May 14, 1999
To the Editor:
I would like to voice my support of Charlie Parker for board of selectman. I have worked with Charlie for the last two years on the municipal land committee and have a great respect for the number of hours he volunteers trying to find solutions for the town's current/pending issues. In addition to chairing FinCom this year, he has sat in on many meetings of the Carlisle Land Trust to understand land purchasing issues, bond funding and possible sources of outside funding for our municipal land needs. He chaired the finance subcommittee on the municipal land committee, which was responsible for deciding the amount we would request for the municipal bond. He has also spent many hours researching low-income housing developments in surrounding towns to understand the options available.
Charlie Parker has a firm understanding of the issues that face our town in the future and has a deep respect for the citizens he represents. Working with Charlie on land issues, I have seen firsthand that he has the qualities needed to manage town business.
He is a good listener and a very approachable team player. Charlie's work for the town is heartfelt and sincere, as well as financially sound. I believe that Charlie Parker would be an excellent choice of selectman for our town, and hope you support him at the polls on Tuesday, May 18.
Carlisle Pines Drive
Town should weigh wants versus needs
To the Editor:
It is critical to the well-being of Carlisle's future that all voters carefully weigh the must-haves on our upcoming town vote with the nice-to-haves. I would like to repeat a point I heard at the Town Meeting that I believe was not spoken loudly enough.
Carlisle will be needing more school space in the next few years. Our present seventh and eighth grades are between 70 to 80 students. Both the third grade and the incoming kindergarten are about 100 students. You do the math on the present budget and don't forget the annual 3 to 4 percent increases in mandated costs and inflation issues. And, after the operating budget calculations, add in additional costs for long-term indebtedness for the classrooms (another building). These numbers will be hitting our budgets hard in a few years, making town budget easily double in a short time. A few new houses won't matter.
Fire, police, libraries and schools are must-haves in Carlisle. Think carefully about each expenditure and indebtedness. Long-term indebtedness with preconditions on use of the land diminish the value of that investment dramatically. Be careful about entering this deal. We have no exit once entered. Reserving for must-haves is a wise choice.
Support recreation in Carlisle
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the people of Carlisle for their support at Town Meeting, approving both the recreation director and the toddler playground. Your support keeps our recreation programs on firm ground, and also allows us to complete a wonderful new playground at Diment Park.
But we have one more hurdle. The town must vote at the May 18 election to fund these projects by voting yes on 1a. Of the level three questions, only the recreation director and the toddler playground were approved at Town Meeting. The other two items were not approved, so, of the $106,500 increase reflected in ballot item la over item 1b, only $35,000 will actually be funded. If you support our recreation director and toddler playground, please vote yes on la next Tuesday.
I also want to endorse Charlie Parker and John Ballantine for selectmen. In my experience, both these men have worked tirelessly for Carlisle, balancing the many issues facing us. I believe they will provide the strong leadership we need now, keeping Carlisle the kind of town we all treasure.
chair, Recreation Commission
Plan for affordable housing now
To the Editor:
The question is not whether we want or are going to have affordable housing in Carlisle. The state of Massachusetts has already decided we will.
The question is who is going to be in the driver's seat regarding affordable housing decisions. Where will it be located, how concentrated will the housing be, what will it look like, who will control and regulate the housing, and other related decisions.
Our lack of a long-term plan and commitment to this issue will make it easier for developers to make those decisions for us. The state, not seeing a realistic commitment in this area, may allow developers to ignore our zoning requirements. Cramming as many houses as you can on a lot will affect how all others surrounding that lot view their town. The town has no power restricting how many lots in one area can succumb like this. We need the state's assistance in restricting this kind of growth until we do it on our own. What I heard at Town Meeting is that they are more likely to assist us if they feel we are truly committed to the idea of affordable housing. I believe it is in Carlisle's best interest to have a plan.
The lack of a plan for affordable housing does not help us to control growth in the town. Already, Mr. Costello's proposal for East Riding Drive and his investigation of two properties on South and Cross Streets put the town significantly on the way toward the need for a new school. This is not a deterrent for growth. All discussions about regulating growth are irrelevant without this loophole closed.
We need a plan for affordable housing. We need a long-term plan that clearly shows the state that we, as a town, are committed to this community responsibility. I believe it is in Carlisle's best interest to have a plan, and I hope that developers can be held at bay until we do.
Nancy C. Pirman-Weiss
School committee asks support for 1b and 1c
To the Editor:
I want to thank all those who attended Town Meeting for your continued support of education in Carlisle. I also want to remind all school supporters to vote in favor of at least the first two levels of override (1c and 1b on the ballot) on Tuesday at the town election.
The successful passage of at least the first level of override is essential to maintain the existing program at Carlisle Schools. In addition to the costs of mandated programs and contractual obligations (costs over which we have no control), Carlisle must also absorb the cumulative effect of steady growth. Annual growth of the school population has averaged 5.2 percent over the last ten years. That sustained growth prompted the need to expand the physical facility last year. This coming year, we now need to grow the support infrastructurean additional bus-run, more playground aides, a bit more administrative support, increased custodial services and more student materials.
In addition, some required programs that were generously funded this year by grants from the Carlisle Education Foundation are being brought back into the budget. The CEF funding this year was an exception, and, as a rainy Pig 'n' Pepper weekend revealed, it is very risky. These costs have pushed Carlisle Schools' level service budget above the levy limit set by the finance committee, and they are what are contained in the first level of override.
The second level of override seeks funding to expand some critical school programs, including foreign language and choral music. It also contains a regular budget line of $25,000 for campus maintenance. As Concord and other towns have shown, it's cheaper to maintain existing facilities than to replace dilapidated ones. Currently that budget line is zero.
The finance committee and selectmen have recommended support of both the first and second levels of override. And Town Meeting voted strongly in favor of both, as well. I hope you will echo these positive votes on Tuesday.
Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful schools.
chair, Carlisle School Committee
Vote for Wangs-Coombs purchase
To the Editor:
Many thanks to those who attended Town Meeting last week and gave an overwhelming vote in favor of the town's purchase of the Wang-Coombs cornfields. It was also a vote in favor of saving one of the last prime pieces of agricultural land in Carlisle while maintaining in its present state a vista of great beauty. Controlling the pace of growth and protecting our rural quality of life are clearly among our top priorities.
Remember that the job is only half done. Each of the supporters of the purchase must show up at the polls next Tuesday, May 18, to vote "yes" for the Wang-Coombs purchase.
Thanks again to the voters and the many volunteers who made this purchase possible.
Arthur N. Milliken
Carlisle Land Trust
See MORE MAIL on page 15
School council urges 'yes' vote
To the Editor:
As parent and community representatives on the Carlisle School Council, we strongly urge voters to approve Questions 1b and 1c on the May 18 town ballot. This will ensure the schools receive the full funding approved, overwhelmingly, at Town Meeting. To support full level 1 and 2 funding, you must vote for both questions.
The school council is an impartial, state-mandated council of parents, community, faculty and administration members whose role is to assist the school principal with planning. A key aspect of our work is developing and maintaining the School Improvement Plan. The plan recommends improvements that support the goals and needs of the school. If approved by the school committee, the plan is used by the administration to set objectives for each school year. As part of this process, the council also reviews the annual school budget in detail.
In our role, we have had the opportunity to explore and understand the school's priorities. We have observed the give-and-take that occurs in allocating resources. The school administration and school committee have been thoughtful and conservative in requesting funds to meet the needs of a growing school population. They have been both creative and aggressive in seeking outside funding for special programs when needed.
The funding approved at Town Meeting will cover state-mandated services, contractual obligations, and items previously covered by nonrenewable grants, such as the additional nurse, the full-day kindergarten program, and a part-time guidance counselor position. In addition, the funding provides for building maintenance and for two part-time teachers to augment the music and language-arts programs, to make them more consistent with programs offered in the Concord schools.
Although the Level 3 overrides approved at Town Meeting have no direct impact on the schools, as individuals, we also encourage citizens to vote in favor of ballot Question 1a. This provides for a part-time recreation director for the community and a toddler playground. These improvements will support an enriched experience for the youth of Carlisle.
Parker asks for your vote
To the Editor:
I'm delighted to be running for selectman again, having come so close last year. I'm a hard worker and believe I can handle the job. People who've worked with me know that I'm direct, fair and that they can depend on me.
Through six years on the finance committee, I understand and work on the town's needs and its opportunities. If elected, I will be a strong voice for the positions I've taken (see my responses to the Mosquito's questions in this issue).
To the Carlisle voters, I ask for your consideration and your support.
Charles E. Parker III
Log Hill Road
Support questions 1b and 1c
To the Editor:
We are a group of 15 families with a common interest in the quality of our school. We were pleased with the support given the override for the school budget at the Annual Town Meeting. Participants at the Town Meeting overwhelmingly endorsed the Level 1 and Level 2 overrides, as have the board of selectmen and the finance committee. However, this vote is only the first step in securing this funding for our school. A majority vote is now needed at the Town Elections on May 18.
Our school is one of Carlisle's most important assets. As we approach the year 2000, we are confronted with many challenges, among them preserving a high level of excellence in services offered to our growing student population, protecting our investment in the upkeep and maintenance of our school buildings and expanding the foreign language and music programs.
We urge our friends and neighbors to join the Town Meeting participants, the board of selectmen and the finance committee and vote "yes" on ballot questions 1b and 1c on May 18.
Debbie Dawson Karen Huntress Priscilla Tobey Kerri Piette Anne Wilkes Kathy Hassey Susan Smith Bill Cooney Joan Popolo Cindy Craft Nancy Roberts Lauren Bakewell Maura Ferrigno Karen Green Debbie Power Lisa Henderson
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito