The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 25, 2008

Looking for a Good Samaritan

To the Editor:

We would like to thank the man who helped me on December 29 when I slipped on black ice at the Transfer Station and broke my hip. We do not know his name. He prayed for me and called 911 on his cell phone. Please call us at 978-369-8893 so we can thank you.

Bea and Hal Shneider
Stearns Street

Carlisle needs spending restraint

To the Editor:

Recent issues of the Mosquito have contained excellent reporting of the town's budget mess. School budgets are far over the FinCom guideline and there's talk of another override.

Carlisle passed spending overrides in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007. During the same period, Acton passed two, Westford one, Billerica and Chelmsford didn't have any.

Surely adjacent towns hire teachers and administrators, get health insurance and buy energy from the same places we do. Why can these towns control spending while Carlisle can't?

The problem is that Carlisle only manages its budget from January to May. From May to December, the Selectmen and School Committee routinely say "Yes" to whatever spending comes before them.

Some examples: Last year the Selectmen came out 4 to 1 in favor of an expensive playing fields proposal. The voters, in their prudence said "enough!" and rejected it. Then, only months later, the Selectmen asked for an 8% tax increase as the town again ran short of funds. Couldn't the Selectmen see that coming? If the Selectmen had their way with the playing fields, the increase would certainly have been north of 10%. Last summer, the School Committee agreed to a CCHS contract that guaranteed teachers a 7% pay raise for the next three years (some got 11%) (Mosquito, July 13, 2007). Salaries are the bulk of the budget. You can't fit raises like that into a Proposition 2 1/2 guideline budget.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue reports town employment increased from 171 to 221 between 2001 and 2006 — a 30% increase. This far exceeds growth in population or school enrollment.

No surprise we find ourselves in another budget mess. Proposed reductions will, of course, only involve the most popular programs. Salaries and pensions are sacrosanct.

So the voters will be presented with another fait accompli — approve another override or accept last-minute reductions in the most politically unpalatable places. Opportunities for real efficiencies and cost reductions are never discussed. That's what we should have done May through December.

James Bohn
Concord Street

Obama follows the Carlisle example

To the Editor:

Last week I found myself at the Harvey Wheeler Building in Concord with 40 or so other folks of all stripes, sizes and ages to become a worker in the Barack Obama campaign. This is the very first time I have ever volunteered to support a candidate.

My experience from 37 years living in Carlisle provides the compelling reason for my support. In Carlisle we work hard to educate, persuade and bring diverse groups and points of view together to build consensus. That process leads to a positive vote at Town Meeting. Obama is a consensus builder too. He is a uniter not a divider; he believes in truly bringing diverse groups together to make a decision. That's the Carlisle connection. Look at his record of bringing people together to achieve common goals in the ward politics of Chicago. He has a great record of getting legislation passed in the Illinois legislature and now in the US Senate. And incidentally his experience in elected office is longer than that of either Clinton or Edwards.

Barack Obama is guided by principles and standards that he sticks to. He has the vision and the capability to articulate a vision that will lead and unite us. The challenges ahead especially for our children and grandchildren are daunting. I am working for him because I want us to elect someone to office who is up to the challenge and has a 21st century outlook.

Barack Obama is a candidate whom Democrats and Independents can be proud to support. His message has resonated with many Republicans who have become frustrated and saddened by the disastrous administration of the last eight years. Whatever our political persuasion, Obama's leadership here and in the world will make us proud to be Americans.

If you agree with me that it is time for a real change, vote for Obama in the Massachusetts primary on February 5. Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate who can and will win next fall to assure our country a new direction.

Art Milliken

Runners can share road too

To the Editor:

My wife, Donna Milofsky, is training for the Boston Marathon. She is running the marathon with two other Concord-based mothers, Jill Colleran and Carolyn Prohovich, to raise money for Dana Farber's cancer research. Often times I will accompany Donna and her friends for a portion of their run. I am very proud of my wife, and when I run with her, find myself amazed at how careful she is along the roads of Concord and Carlisle.

Recently Donna came home confused, because drivers passing by her called the Carlisle Police, saying that the ladies were blocking the road while running. I can personally attest that,when running with Donna, Jill and Carolyn, they religiously move to the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic so as to allow cars safe passage. In this day I would hope that those who choose to run a marathon for a noble cause are not harassed by calls to a local police department, causing local police officers to spend their valuable time seeking out runners who allegedly are a road hazard. Last I checked, pedestrians have the right of way, and running is good for your health.

Michael Milofsky
Prescott Road

Vote Hillary February 5

To the Editor:

Hillary Clinton has the talent, experience, vision and skills needed to lead and manage the country. Please support Hillary Clinton on February 5 in the Massachusetts primary. Bringing our troops home and making sure they are decently cared for, working towards energy independence, improving American health care and addressing very serious foreign policy issues are just a few of the important problems that she will quickly begin working on and competently handle as president. Her leadership is what our country needs now to address the multitude of problems facing our nation and to begin bringing our country into the 21st century. Her decision to run for president is the culmination of a lifetime of solid experience in and dedication to government service. Hillary is strong, smart, energetic and experienced, and has a cool head. She knows how to implement change.

Hillary offers hope and promise to our nation. She offers substance over talk and she won't let us down. Please consider joining the Carlisle/Concord group to elect Hillary @ 1-978-505-1772, (Rick) or 1-978-287-1410, kathymayer99 (Kathy). Her campaign web site

Kathleen Mayer
River Road

Editor's note: See letter from the Regional School Committee after News article CCHS plans longer school day.

2008 The Carlisle Mosquito