The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 9, 2001

Town groups join to support Community Preservation Act

To the Editor:

The selectmen have called a Special Town Meeting to be held on Tuesday, April 10 at which a majority vote may accept the provisions of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and refer it as a ballot question for the town election scheduled for May 22.

The Community Preservation Act offers Carlisle a useful planning and funding tool. It allows thoughtful and effective actions and makes possible a long range rather than a crisis approach to reaching agreed-on goals. The funds collected will be devoted to the investments that town government bodies and advisory groups have targeted to maintain Carlisle's consistent vision and priorities as most recently articulated on February 10 at the Municipal Planning Day. As an added benefit, the State will provide matching funds of up to 100 percent.

As we learned at Municipal Planning Day, Carlisle needs a minimum of 70 additional acres to meet anticipated demand for affordable housing, education and recreation. This is above and beyond maintaining the open space we treasure.

We at the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, Carlisle Affordable Housing Inc., the Carlisle Recreation Trust and the Carlisle Historical Society have joined to help inform citizens about how the Act works and its benefits. The Town's needs for housing, historic preservation and recreation are important and compelling; we must find ways of meeting them in a conservation-friendly manner consistent with the Town's character.

We are pleased that the selectmen have offered the citizens an opportunity to consider the Community Preservation Act at the April 10 Special Town Meeting. Our volunteer, nonprofit organizations invite you to join us in working toward the passage of the Community Preservation Act, and in making sure that there is a quorum and positive vote at Town Meeting. The funds we authorize and the state matches will help us reach our shared goals for Carlisle. Please contact the signers below to see how you can learn more about the Act and help its passage.

We salute the Mosquito for taking on the critical role of educating all of us about the Act and providing a forum for discussion.

Charles A. Forsberg, Carlisle Historical Society
Cynthia Nock, Carlisle Recreation Trust
Edward Sonn, Carlisle Affordable Housing Inc.
Arthur N. Milliken, Carlisle Conservation Foundation

All residents should be assessed fairly

To The Editor:

Last week, an elderly resident complained of improper treatment by Carlisle's Board of Assessors. It's not just senior citizens that the board of assessors treats poorlyit's new Carlisle residents. We, too, requested a reduced assessment. It was refused. We applied for an abatement. My wife met with the assessors and was told that our situation was an anomaly that would be addressed next yearnot this year.

Prior to the assessor's formal decision, we submitted additional information and requested another meeting. How did the assessors respond? They didn't tell us the date of their next meeting. They didn't publish a notice of their next meeting in the Mosquito. They merely informed the Town Clerk about their next meeting 48 hours in advance. During this legal but unpublicized meeting, they formally decided our abatement request.

I also met with board of selectmen chair Michael Fitzgerald and town administrator Madonna McKenzie and requested an independent investigation into the actions of the board of assessors. To date no follow-up has occurred.

We showed the assessors and town leaders that our home was increased in value by a minimum of 20 percent above the percentage increases applied to all other homes on our street. The only difference is that we are "newcomers" to Carlisle. We prepared an analysis comparing recently purchased homes with similar homes on the same streets purchased prior to 1999. We found that newly purchased home assessments have increased significantly more than assessments of similar homes on the same streets purchased in prior years.

We are presently preparing our appeal to the state's appellate tax board. However, resolving this discrepancy will not solve Carlisle's greater problem. I take offense with one selectman's quote in the February 9 Mosquito which states that "we have to look out for long-term residents who have made a commitment to the town. Many newer residents are less likely to stay." Carlisle's elected town leaders must learm to take care of all town residentsits elderly, its newcomers, and its longtime residents. They can begin by treating everyone fairly in the assessment process.

Program will discuss chemical threats

To the Editor:

Have you been worried about the thousands of chemicals that are widely used by industry and in homes and the potential threats to our children? Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, new chemicals are not necessarily tested first for health and safety prior to release for public consumption. For some answers do check out the public television program "Trade Secrets" with correspondent Bill Moyers and producer Sherry Jones scheduled for Monday evening, March 26, 9 p.m. on Channel 2. More details are available in the March 2001 GBH Member's Magazine, page 2l under "Risky Business." If this is a concern to you, do invite friends over to share this important program.

Dave Comstock
Pine Brook Road
David A. Spotts
Hartwell Road

Hospital president supports legislation

To the Editor:

I would like everyone in Carlisle to join me in expressing gratitude to Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Cory Atkins for their strong leadership. They recently took a major step toward protecting our patients and stabilizing our health care system by co-sponsoring a vital piece of legislation: Act for a Healthy Commonwealth.

I've heard from many in our community about how the crisis in the health system is directly affecting them and their families. Emergency room diversions, disruptions in HMO coverage, and program cuts are increasingly common, and many caregivers are struggling just to survive. Act for a Healthy Commonwealth would help by immediately increasing support for Medicaid and the uncompensated care pool, two critical components of our state's health care safety net. But you don't have to be poor to be worried about a broken safety net. We all rely on the same facilities, services, doctors, and nurses­and we all should support any effort by our local lawmakers that will strengthen a system in distress.

Let's join our legislators to push for swift passage of this bill. It's time to take decisive action on behalf of our patients and community.

Geoffrey Cole
President and CEO
Emerson Hospital

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito