Natick Town Administrator Martha White and Interim Superintendent of Schools Joseph Keefe explain the town's request for a $3.9 million Proposition 2 1/2 override at a public budget meeting on Monday night, town officials announced today.
At the forum, White and Keefe are expected to detail why such a tax increase is necessary to balance the fiscal 2009 budget, and to outline the reductions in programs and services they say will result if it fails.
The meeting will be held at the Wilson Middle School at 7:30 p.m. Voters will go to the polls on March 25.
"Clearly, there is nothing in there [the potential budget cuts] that anybody likes,'' White said. "But, it is what it is. We're hoping to engage the public so they have an opportunity to ask questions of us about the financial state of the town."
-- Michele Morgan Bolton
Boards and committees in Natick have been barreling toward a potential tax-hike vote since Town Administrator Phil Lemnios presented his budget in January. But the town's Finance Committee is saying "not so fast" just in time for tonight's Selectmen's meeting.
At its meeting last week, the Finance Committee suggested the town could manage without an override by making some cuts and holding off on some planned expenses. That would set up the need for a larger tax hike in the budget year that follows, but it would give town officials more time to prepare to press the case.
The Around Natick blog has posted a summary of the Finance Committee's discussion by Town Meeting member Jeffrey M. Phillips.
Selectmen will discuss tonight whether to ask voters for a $2 million override. Check back tomorrow to see what the selectmen had to say.
-- John C. Drake