Barbara Anderson died April 9. She successfully pushed for a 2.5 percent limit on annual property tax increases for the entire state of Massachusetts. If Massachusetts can prosper on 2.5 percent property tax increases each year, why can’t Scarborough?

Abraham Lincoln talked about “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Some town councilors and school board members have forgotten that is what governing bodies should be doing for the people.

The school board appears to have forgotten there are over 16,000 citizens in Scarborough, and only 1,000 of them are in school. A board member once told me that the board is a governing body that only answers to the state. That should disappoint every taxpayer.

The council decided to drop the “Goldilocks question” – whether the budget is too high, too low or just right – from the upcoming school budget referendum. The reason given is that the question sometimes added more confusion than clarity.

That confusion last year was the school board’s doing. They decided to tell everyone to “vote no, too low” on the referendum. The idea was to obfuscate the question and possibly get the question eliminated from future referendums. It certainly worked.

Scarborough now has a new school superintendent, who came to us from Massachusetts. She lived under the 2.5 percent property tax increase. She must know it can be done.

We also have an opportunity on the referendum. The council set a goal of a 3 percent tax increase. It didn’t achieve it. I’ve long advocated a 3 percent cap on the municipal and school budgets. That would translate to about the same in tax increases.

Massachusetts demonstrated the idea works. Let us prove it works in Scarborough by voting “no” on the budget referendum.

Michael B. Turek


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