The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 21, 2010

Correction to Town Meeting remarks

To the Editor,

I would like to correct a small mistake on page 5 of the May 14 Mosquito. What I had said when I spoke to Article 20 at Town Meeting on May 10 was that in 2009, towns with a CPA surcharge of less than 3% received a 34.8% (not 38%) match from the state. To understand the significance of this number, let me explain how the state match is calculated.

First, 80% of the available funds are distributed proportionately to all towns in the program, in 2009 at the 34.8% level. Only towns with a 3% CPA surcharge are eligible for the remaining 20%, which is distributed by a formula that favors towns with low population (good for Carlisle) and low assessed property valulation per capita (bad for Carlisle).

In 2009, Carlisle with its 2% surcharge collected $329K and received $114K in matching funds. Had we been at 3%, revenues would have been $493K. Looking at other 3% towns, I estimate our matching rate would have been 48%, or $237K. Thus by collecting $164K more in surcharge we would have received $123K more from the state, a 75% incremental match. Of course we don’t know how the numbers will come out in 2010, but the rules will be the same.

Ken Harte

Estabrook Road

In support of the CPA

To the Editor,

I live in Monson, Massachusetts, now, but was brought up in Carlisle and lived there more recently from 1984 to 2000. I am on the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) in town here. Monson has selected the 3% surcharge option over the first $100,000 property evaluation. The projects the committee has supported have passed Town Meeting and have benefitted the town residents at a fraction of the cost, had the town been required to pay full price.

  I have read with great interest the debate in Carlisle on whether or not to keep the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  One issue I’m sure many know about, but I haven’t seen written about recently is where the Commonwealth of Massachusetts matching funds come from. It is from real estate transactions.  The Registry of Deeds imposes a very small fee that goes into the CPA fund. Obviously, when fewer transactions take place in the Commonwealth over any given period of time, less money is collected over that same period of time. The matching funds have decreased, because fewer houses have been bought and sold over the last several years. However, to throw away the program, just because of a few bad years, would be short sighted. Just as we have faith in the stock market recovery, so should we have the same faith about the real estate market. Rather than vote against the CPA in Carlisle, I would suggest two things:

1)  Support the passage of Bill SB 90 that would make some significant changes in the CPA. Here are two of them: allowing recreational facilities to be repaired, not just built new; and ensuring a minimum of 75% matching funds to the cities and towns.

2)  Listen to Ken Harte.  Vote to increase the surcharge to 3%.

  On the other hand, if Carlisle decides to vote the CPA down, Monson will likely get a bigger portion of the pie. Hard to know where my allegiances would lie in that case!

Michael A. Benfield

Monson, Mass.

All are welcome

To the Editor:

Please join us as we gather  to recognize and thank Tim Hult for his service to all in Carlisle. This is informal, so feel free to come for all or part, as your schedule permits.

We will share food, laughs and memories from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25 in the Clark Room at Town Hall. All are welcome and encouraged to come.

We hope to see you there.

John Williams

On behalf of the Board of Selectmen

Don’t wait to appreciate

To the Editor:

As the Mosquito reported last week, more than 100 Carlisle parents signed a letter of support for 4th grade teacher, Ken Ashe, following the news of his termination. I’m not writing to weigh in on the debate about Ken’s value to the schools, having never had a child in his class, but rather to raise the question of how many letters of support parents took the time to write to Ken before the news of his termination -- like any time over the past three years. Many, I would guess, but probably not 100. The take-home message to parents is this: all our teachers, whether under consideration for professional status or not but most especially when their future in the schools is still uncertain, need your written support if you stand behind them. Any time you believe a teacher has done something impressive, put your words of appreciation in writing, either hard copy or email, send it to the teacher, and copy it to the principal. When there are teachers whose presence you value at our schools, fill their personnel files with letters of praise and support. Don’t wait until decisions you disagree with have already been made.

Nancy Shohet West

Bedford Road

Come celebrate the Gleason Library

To the Editor:

We hope townspeople will be able to come for a celebration of the Gleason Public Library on May 22 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The renovation and repair project of the historic façade has just concluded. The 1895 structure is now as strong and resistant to water and wind as possible. The entire historic façade was repointed, the roof received a waterproofing membrane below reuse of the original Monson slate and a matching slate of equal quality, the windows were repaired and treated, and the basement/foundation was reshaped, waterproofed, and water drainage connected to outlying drywells. The building passed the March rainstorm test!

We are very pleased with the leadership of our architecture firm, Lerner, Ladds & Bartels, Inc., the general contractor Consigli Construction Co., Inc., the consulting engineers, Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, and the subcontractors Stanley Roofing and Riggs Contracting (masonry).

Much appreciation is due to the people of Carlisle for supporting the Carlisle Community Preservation Act expenditures at the 2008 and 2009 Town Meetings, to the Building Restoration Implementation Committee, to the library staff, Friends of the Gleason Public Library, town departments and committees, the DPW, the Garden Club, the Seawrights, John Bakewell and those who worked specifically on the nuts and bolts of the project including Shelagh Tomaino, Priscilla Dumka and Mark Ellis.

The afternoon will include light refreshments, music, children’s activities, information about the project and an opportunity to speak with those involved in the project.

Angela Mollet, director,

Priscilla Stevens, Ann Rosas,

Larissa Shyjan, trustees

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito