Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ddsuburbs. Show ddsuburbs's posts

    Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Should Natick raise property taxes to pay for a new high school and a new senior/community center? The townwide vote is scheduled for March 30. It's time to make your case: Are you for or against and why?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ccollins101005. Show ccollins101005's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Sure....only if they reduce them first by the amount they went up the last couple of years as our house values have declined.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1050557. Show user_1050557's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Make no mistake, voting "NO" on March 30th ISN'T FREE - it will actually cost Natick homeowners MORE! Keeping the rain out, the heat in, replacing the electrical and plumbing systems, updating the 50 year-old kitchen (which also services 4 of 5 elementary schools), and making the building handicapped accessible would cost $46 million (which equals the price to taxpayers of a brand new school). Moreover, that plan doesn't even include replacing the heating system which is 200% past it's useful life and will cost approximately $50 million! All told, the town would need to invest $120 million over the next 20 years (vs. $46 million over the same period for a new school) and we'd still have a high school that isn't suited to educating our students for the 21st century. We would have to pay the whole $120 million because there won't be any help from the state -- they've looked at it carefully and they will only help pay for a new school because it's CHEAPER TO BUILD A NEW ONE.

    But the MSBA's offer to pay nearly 50% of the cost is time limited. They are on record stating "Given the overwhelming capital needs of school districts across the Commonwealth and the MSBA’s limited capital program funds, the MSBA cannot indefinitely tie up funds allocated for a project that lacks local support." (http://www.massschoolbuildings.org/program_ektid1868.aspx)

    Natick High School has already been placed on warning status by our accrediting board due, in part, to the current state of the building. Some might argue that "we don't need to be accredited - Wellesley isn't accredited and they're fine" but Wellesley succeeds despite this, not because of it. Every realtor I've asked has categorically stated that, all else being equal, homes in unaccredited communities are much less appealing than those with accredited high schools. The market adjusts downward to reflect this lack of desirability. My home is about the only asset I have at this point and voting no would make me much poorer than paying for a new high school.

    We have an opportunity to build a much needed new high school AND have nearly 50% of it paid for by taxpayers in other communities across the Commonwealth -- communities who would DESPERATELY love to be in our place (and likely will be if Natick rejects this project).

    So yes, even though I live on a fixed income and I don't have any kids, I am making a selfish decision to protect my home's value and save myself a great deal of money over the next 20 years. I hope everyone in Natick is equally selfish and decides to VOTE YES on 2!!!

    C. Collins

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ekaz. Show ekaz's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    I like the idea of a new school for the exact reasons C. Collins explained above. It's a no brainer. However, I am not voting for the Senior Community Center. They are hitting us up with too much at the same time. Couldn't have been worse timing IMO...
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Patriotfan186. Show Patriotfan186's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Just say NO! Enough is enough! If you want a big, fancy school--MOVE OUT OF NATICK! Go live in Newton or Brookline or Dover-Sherborn! Leave us Natick natives alone!
    I find it disgusting that all these big city folks come barging into our nice little town, and they want to build it up so we can't afford to stay in our own homes.
    If you don't like the school here, why did you move here in the first place? If you want to stay here, then send your kids to a private school, but don't raise our taxes any more. Enough is enough!
    And NO--the Senior Citizens DON'T want a new senior center either. All the old people I know never go there--they don't want to hang out with a bunch of old people. That's as bad as being in a nursing home! Just go and take a look at where the old people like to hang out: Building 19, the Library, the Mall. If you build it--THEY WON'T COME. They don't go to the center now, what makes you think they'll go to the new one? This is just another excuse for the HACKS to STEAL more of our hard-earned money!
    Put the kettle on--it's time for a TEA PARTY in Natick, too!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from YES-NHS. Show YES-NHS's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    This truly seems like such a no-brainer to me....

    As C Collins stated, not building a new high school is not free.  I went to the current high school years ago (by the way, so did my dad), and it was awful then.  It is a shame that some students are stuck in the cold, dilapidated, wet, and obsolete building today.  To keep it even safe and functional would cost millions.  And tax payers are actually considering throwing away an MBSA grant for $40 million?  Really?

    I understand that it is a hard bill to swallow if you don't have kids currently.  But, remember, YOU were a kid once, and hopefully you had access to a clean, warm, healthy learning environment.  Someone else paid for that school FOR YOU.  Now, it is your turn to pay your dues.  We live in a society where we all pitch in to to cover costs for this type of expense.  It's not very fair to "opt out" when it's your turn to pay dues.  So, if empty nesters (who had access to a free public education) aren't willing to pay for educational costs....should we be expecting elementary and high school students to pay their own way? 

    A few hundred extra dollars on your tax bills is a small price to pay for educating our future leaders....VOTE YES!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from prec5tm. Show prec5tm's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    As a NHS alum and parent of NHS student it is now Natick's turn to benefit from a state program - we are paying for the sba with our sales tax dollars - lets bring some of that money back to Natick - with a hungry construction market and low interest rates to borrow money, this project will never be more affordable than it is right now - and voting no is not a low cost solution. Lets support this project and help spread the word that the High school is worth a yes vote on 3/30
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ddsuburbs. Show ddsuburbs's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Ekaz makes an interesting point above. What does everyone thinkg about the senior center AND the school? Are you voting for one, but not the other? How are supporters/opponents of one project reaching out to the other side?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Markflynsky. Show Markflynsky's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Enough is enough.
    I just bought my home and it was just over valued by 45K.  So with the raise in taxes and the excess valulation I will have to sell my home.
    So where is all the moeny going anyway???
    Newton build a 110 mil school without raising taxes.  There is plenty of governmental funding to go around and this is just another ploy to get more money for other things. HACKS  
    This is getting crazy my parents own a 900k dollar home in Newton and I am almost paying the same amount in taxes as them right now, nerevr mind if they raise the tax rate.

    VOTE no. 
    I am 100% sure the money will pop up from somewhere anyway??
    HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ramona-123. Show ramona-123's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    >>"I find it disgusting that all these big city folks come barging into our nice little town, and they want to build it up so we can't afford to stay in our own homes."

    You know what I find disgusting? The completely xenophobic attitude of pitting neighbor against neighbor that's such a popular tactic in Natick for stopping progress in its tracks. What a yawn.

    Hey, I don't want my taxes raised either, but I'm willing to invest in the future of OUR town and think that OUR young people (the new  generation of "Natick natives" some people get so excited about) deserve to go to school in a building with adequate infrastructure and, you know, heat and electricity.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sarah2071. Show Sarah2071's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Vote no. As a child I went to private school. We had a 50+ year old building, leaks, iffy heat, and 4 year old books. We used the public parks for sports and managed to have the full experience of any high schooler. Parents donated paper, crayons, pizza for pizza parties. Somedays the heat wasn't working. We couldn't bring home the history texts because they were new and we had to keep them at the school, but I would wager my education was as good, if not better than public school. Twenty years later the school has the same building. 

    I bet if the *new* high school is built the same arguments will be used in 20 years for another new public school.

    I am undecided on the senior center but also wonder why a new building is necessary (on my dime) and why private donations can't be used.


     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from bobby917. Show bobby917's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    In Response to Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center:
    Enough is enough. I just bought my home and it was just over valued by 45K.  So with the raise in taxes and the excess valulation I will have to sell my home. So where is all the moeny going anyway??? Newton build a 110 mil school without raising taxes.  ll pop up from somewhere anyway?? HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM 
    Posted by Markflynsky


    No No No! I just moved FROM Newton TO Natick. Newton DID raise taxes to pay for a new high school, then proceeded to go grossly over budget on the project and tried to raise taxes AGAIN.  At that point the people had had enough and voted no on the second override.  Out of spite, even though it was budgeted for and there was other fat to trim, the mayor cut Library services(which was very important to the Auburndale community), teachers, and fire fighting budgets.  Needless to say he is no longer the mayor.  

    All I need to be convinced of in Natick is that we will not go over the 89 million budget by making Washington DC like sweetheart deals with contractors as they did in Newton.  I voted No on the override in Newton in 08 and said good riddance.  The one thing Natick has head and shoulders above Newton is that the Town Meeting form of goverment is much more democratic and less wastefull then the arcane Aldermanic system with an executive branch. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Markflynsky. Show Markflynsky's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    In Response to Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center:
    In Response to Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center : No No No! I just moved FROM Newton TO Natick. Newton DID raise taxes to pay for a new high school, then proceeded to go grossly over budget on the project and tried to raise taxes AGAIN.  At that point the people had had enough and voted no on the second override.  Out of spite, even though it was budgeted for and there was other fat to trim, the mayor cut Library services(which was very important to the Auburndale community), teachers, and fire fighting budgets.  Needless to say he is no longer the mayor.   All I need to be convinced of in Natick is that we will not go over the 89 million budget by making Washington DC like sweetheart deals with contractors as they did in Newton.  I voted No on the override in Newton in 08 and said good riddance.  The one thing Natick has head and shoulders above Newton is that the Town Meeting form of goverment is much more democratic and less wastefull then the arcane Aldermanic system with an executive branch. 
    Posted by bobby917




    ALL I have to say is, there is enough taxes as is and they can come up with or go out and find the money for a new school.  I am all for a new school and there are ways of doing it without more TAXES.  Houses are way over valued as is.  My house could not be sold for 50k less than what they valued it at. 
    They want to raise taxes so their cousins can get or keep their easy no show jobs.  Get ride of waste.   GET RIDE of the waste.

    VOTE no one raising taxes,  again the money will show up and the school will get built.  some layabouts might lose their no show jobs though.  o well. 
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from prec5tm. Show prec5tm's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    A New Natick High School buidling project should never be compared to the  current Newton North project.  They are building that school project under old reimbursement rules.  The new rules, managed by the SBA, and under the authority of the state treasurers office, is funded by the current sales tax.  Under these rules, Natick has hired a firm, RF Walsh who works for both the town and the state to make sure the new rules are followed.  This ensures that costs are contained and the project stays on budget. Further, Natick will receive the reimbursement money from the state upfront.  This will keep bond costs down as we will only be borrowing money on the part of the project that the town will need to fund.   There are may reasons to support this project as fiscally responsible.  For more facts see http://nowfornatickhigh.org/

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ddsuburbs. Show ddsuburbs's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    These is a lively debate. What do people think about the quality of education? How would a new school, or the lack of a new school, affect the kind of education Natick children would be getting?
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ksgoldman. Show ksgoldman's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Natick has no choice but to build a new High School - the current facility is long past its useful life and is dangerous for the students, teachers and administrators (the building's systems are not up to code).  I moved to Natick 22 years ago and at that time, a new High School was under discussion.  Now 22 years later, it is an absolute must.  Every year that you put off building a new school you are wasting an incredible amount of money putting bandaids on the existing building and in the process, negatively impacting the quality of education in Natick.  It's easy for people to complain about the values of their homes today but those same people were enjoying higher home values in a more robust economy and tapping the equity in their homes when it was available.  The bottom line is that at some point in the future, every Natick homeowner will be in the market to sell their home and the quality of Natick's educational system will have a direct impact on the price realized.

    Building a new High School has never been a question of "if" but always "when".  Right now Natick has an incredible opportunity to get the school built for a record low price because of a depressed construction market.  Couple that with the State's reimbursement and we would be fools not to take advantage of this situation.  I am confident that the High School building committee will make sure that the project comes in on time and at (or under budget).  This will not be another Newton!

    I don't like higher taxes any more than the next person but I realize that providing a quality education is an obligation we have to the children of Natick.  Having had two children go through the Natick school system and graduate from Natick High, I don't have any direct benefit other than as a Natick homeowner and taxpayer.  I do feel a responsibility to provide for future generations.

    There is no justifiable reason for not building the new school now.  I know that people feel like they have been taxed to death and that now is not the time for additional taxes - but then again there's never a good time for more taxes.  Those people who have commented that the waste needs to be cut or that there must be other sources for funding haven't spent the time getting to understand where the money comes from and where it's spent in Natick.  It is a very simple formula that we either increase sources of revenue for the town or decrease the services that we provide. 

    A quality education is an absolute must and Natick needs a new High School to continue to deliver this now and in the future.  I encourage everyone in Natick to vote in support of building the new High School.



     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from KarenCS. Show KarenCS's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Absolutely against! I understand the school may be in bad shape, but how did it get that way?  Isn't that what maintenance and up keep are for?  Natick does not have exceptionally high scores when it comes to "the best schools" in the state.  Perhaps we should dig into why the school is not rated amongst the top in the state before we start increasing taxes for a new school. The town is already running in the red, vote no.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from sfb30. Show sfb30's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Moved to Natick a year ago and have only seen my property taxes increase. Lived and grew-up in Newton. Went through the Newton public schools. They built the new highschool without raising taxes significantly and that school is way more expensive then the one being proposed here. In fact they had a Prop 2 voted DOWN..But still got the highschool built. We need to make our voted officals work harder here in Natick. Its easy to raise property taxes. Last time I checked we have a huge mall(s), Military base and hotels. Have we even explored raising taxes on that group?

    Before we build a new highschool lets fix our roads. The roads in this town are BAD!! I think I'm going to start a coalition..ROADNOW FOR NATICK!....Vote Yes for new roads
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from DaveCJ. Show DaveCJ's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    New High School or not, Natick will have a substantial tax increase because the current high school will lose accreditation without doing any work, which is Plan B if the new school isn't approved.

    I've said this many times before; if we the people of Natick, vote against building a new high school under the belief that the town will be okay without it, you are wrong. Look south to Brockton and ask yourself is that where I want to live? Brockton is a real-life example of what happens to a town/city that ignores it's schools. People move out, property values drop and crime increases. Is that what you want for a hometown?
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ddsuburbs. Show ddsuburbs's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    An interesting point by sfb30. Does the quality of other town services -- in this case, road repairs -- affect the way you may vote on the community center or school project?
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from qmf12. Show qmf12's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    What town are you living in?  Natick is not some small little town, nor has it been in a very long while.  And you obviously haven't been to the high school in a while.  It was falling apart when I was there 5+ years ago, and I can just imagine the condition that it is in now.  There were constant leaks, electrical problems, and the laundry list goes on and on. A big, fancy school might not be necessary, but maintenance of the existing school will cost just as much over time, and it's gotten to a point where the students' health and safety is at risk.  Do you really want to live in a town where the high school is crumbling around its students? 

    In Response to Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center:
    Just say NO! Enough is enough! If you want a big, fancy school--MOVE OUT OF NATICK! Go live in Newton or Brookline or Dover-Sherborn! Leave us Natick natives alone! I find it disgusting that all these big city folks come barging into our nice little town, and they want to build it up so we can't afford to stay in our own homes. If you don't like the school here, why did you move here in the first place? If you want to stay here, then send your kids to a private school, but don't raise our taxes any more. Enough is enough! And NO--the Senior Citizens DON'T want a new senior center either. All the old people I know never go there--they don't want to hang out with a bunch of old people. That's as bad as being in a nursing home! Just go and take a look at where the old people like to hang out: Building 19, the Library, the Mall. If you build it--THEY WON'T COME. They don't go to the center now, what makes you think they'll go to the new one? This is just another excuse for the HACKS to STEAL more of our hard-earned money! Put the kettle on--it's time for a TEA PARTY in Natick, too!
    Posted by Patriotfan186

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from prec5tm. Show prec5tm's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    Natick has one of the lowest tax rates of all of the surrounding communities.  Natick is sensitive to the interest of its citizens and tax payers. There has only been 2 successful  operational overrides (first for the second ambulance in 2000 and the 2nd in 2008) and 1 debt exclusion override {Wilson Middle school, half of which is already paid off}.  Natick elected boards and the town administration have worked to kept the budget to within the 2 1/2 percent increase over the past few years.  Last year there were no raised for most of the town employees.  Natick is not trying to be like other towns, we are trying to be ourselves.  The 360 Strategic planning process helped to define for the town where we want to go - supporting seniors and education is part of that plan.   
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Markflynsky. Show Markflynsky's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    In Response to Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center:
    Natick has one of the lowest tax rates of all of the surrounding communities.  Natick is sensitive to the interest of its citizens and tax payers. There has only been 2 successful  operational overrides (first for the second ambulance in 2000 and the 2nd in 2008) and 1 debt exclusion override {Wilson Middle school, half of which is already paid off}.  Natick elected boards and the town administration have worked to kept the budget to within the 2 1/2 percent increase over the past few years.  Last year there were no raised for most of the town employees.  Natick is not trying to be like other towns, we are trying to be ourselves.  The 360 Strategic planning process helped to define for the town where we want to go - supporting seniors and education is part of that plan.   
    Posted by prec5tm

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from thumbsup. Show thumbsup's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    I am voting in favor of the high school. 

    Natick needs a new high school now.  The plan is a smart one and a cheap one because it uses state resources. 

    The community center might make sense but not at the same time.  It is something we can look at again in a few years.  

    Strong schools make strong towns.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from livandtj. Show livandtj's posts

    Re: Tax hikes for a new high school and a senior/community center

    I'm a Newton native who now lives in Natick. Newton residents are outraged at the way NNHS was built. Yes, taxes went up and yes, many services were cut because of the high school. Mayer Cohen did not seek re-election because of the debacle there. I've attended many meetings regarding this high school and am very confident that Natick will do it right. The new state system is very different then the previous one where you were just given a blank check essentially and trusted to spend it appropriately. There are many more checks and balances now and actual accountability expected. For the person who went to private school and had to use 4 year old books in a dilapitated building-you were ripped off! Bottom line - to teach our children 21st century skills, you need a building that can support 21st education. Vote yes on #2.
     
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