Keep Framingham Affordable

Working to Keep Your
Taxes Affordable

Every tax is a pay cut.
Every tax cut is a pay raise.

Citizens for Limited Taxation

General Comments
The override proposal mentions several times that we may get extra state funding if we spend this money on an item. This is like dangling a carrot on a stick.  There is no mention of cost overruns in the override proposal.  The 2000 Capital Override for Framingham H.S. was initially $54 million (including five percent for overruns).  At the end of the project, the total cost was $59.2 million. This constitures a 15% overrun.  Using this model, this override will cost us $100 million plus interest. About $165 million.
Memorial Building Renovation $28,000,000
The last market boom ending in the year 2000 was the largest economic expansion in over 300 years. The town revenues were surging, but so was town spending. In fact, at the end of the boom, we needed an operational override in 2002. Had we put aside money, we could easily have saved $20 million for this. Easily!

I say we force the town to save for what it wants. When we want something, we don't ask our boss for a raise. We skip luxuries and save.

I would suggest putting money aside for a number of years to build a new town hall with more space required for employees.  Having been a denizen of large cubicle farms, I suggest far more use of cubicles.

The Memorial Building is the workplace for 120 town employees.  The renovation costs comes to $233,000 per employee. Yikes!

While structurally sound, the current building layout doesn't lend itself to modern offices unless Nevins Hall is turned into offices.

No study has ever been made on a new building in a different location. A new building in a different location would be less expensive to build than to renovate the current town hall.

There are too many voices speaking about historical reasons to stay, mostly by older people who have little future to look forward to and a lot of past in their lives.

If we build a parking garage in the current parking area, we exclude the use of this space for a new building.

How much money has been spent on the Memorial building in the last 25 years? I'm estimating in the millions.
Description Amount ($)
Restoration of Memorial Building 9,616,375
Parking (3-story above ground) 6,249,261
Renovate 188 Concord Street 2,386,081
Acquisition of 188 Concord Street 1,399,329
Engineering fees @ 10% 1,965,105
GC Profit & Overhead @ 20% 4,323,231
Contigency @ 10% 2,593,938
Total 28,533,321

Fuller and Stapleton Rehabilitation $6,000,000
The Board of Selectman continue to exercise an open door policy to illegal aliens in Framingham.  This is costing the taxpayers at least $10 million in school costs alone each and every year.

The schools receive approximately $100 million per year in funding from the town and Title I funds. By putting aside $1 million per year (1% savings rate). they could easily afford their $6,000,000. Let's encourage them to save some money.  What's your saving rate?

This would make the buildings viable for years to come.  How many years?

We are still paying for the $54 million year 2000 debt exclusion override for the high school in our taxes and now we get more.

During the 2002 operational override, we were told that they would close Stapleton unless the override was passed because Stapleton needed a new roof.  Apparently, none of that override money was ever spent on Stapleton.

They closed Juniper Hill the next year anyway, and now have had to pay to install six modular classrooms (four at Hemenway, two at Brophy) due to a lack of classroom space.

McAuliffe Saxonville Branch Library $4,560,000
If we build it, they will ask for more staffing.  Another case of government metastasizing.

Has anyone not been able to get a book out of the Saxonville library?  I've used this library and traffic is in and out very quickly.

Our downtown library is underutilized.

Replacement of Saxonville Fire Station $4,375,000
If the roof leaks, fix the leak.  I do not rebuild my house when the roof leaks.

If the doors aren't large enough for new fire engines, widen the doors.  When I can't fit thru my doors, I widen my doors.  I don't rebuild my house.

It may have asbestos, but it has had asbestos for a very long time.  Anyone die from asbestos in the firestation?

If we build a new station, the next request will be for larger fire engines.

If we build it, they will come (Er! buy).

Strangely enough, during the 2002 operational override fight, the town talked about closing this firestation. Now we are being asked to spend $4.4 million.

Mr. King claims that this expenditure would meet the modern day training needs of the fire deaprtment. I have no idea what this means. A video room? How much training do firefighters need?

DPW Facility $2,950,000
The new space would provide the needed work area for the expanding operations of the department and allow for the consolidation of the operations that are now housed in two different areas.

Over the past 12 months, the town census has declined by at least 1000 residents but our public works department is growing and expanding oblivious to the cecline of our population.

Framingham Center Buildings Rehabilitation $2,350,000
Most of the money would go to the school department by way of the Jonathan Maynard building which houses the school adminstration by the Framingham Commons.

This should fall under the schools capital improvement budget.

Loring Arena Enhancements $1,500,000
If a company or government cannot run an ice skating rink at a profit, it should be closed. The taxpayers should not be burdened with a losing recreational facility.

I believe that fees to use it should be hiked to cover any repairs.

This is a facility used by too few people and it is currently subsidized to the tune of about $150,000 annually in the General Fund.

Pavement, Intersection and Drainage Improvements $24,000,000
Our town manager claims our streets are in disrepair. Which streets? I've driven thru a large number of streets in Framingham and they seem to be in fine shape. Franklin Street is being re-paved. I have observed the town converting asphalt sidewalks into concrete sidewalks. This is not a compelling reason to waste money.

What roads and what sidewalks need to be fixed or rebuilt?  Let's be specific.

My understanding that merely building a sidewalk does not make people use it.  For instance, how many people do you see using the sidewalks along Route 30?.

Renovation of Bowditch Field $4,500,000
How many times have the stands been used per year since 1935? 

I've inspected them and they seem fine. Some concrete chipping but nothing that costs $4,500,000.

Check out the field yourself and ask yourself "Where would I spend my hard-earned money on this field?

They want to rebuild the stands, put in (presumably heated) changing rooms, public bathrooms and a new maintenance garage.

Weighing in at 215 pounds, I was able to repeatedly jump up and down along the length of the concrete stands and they felt rock solid to me. Remember folks, I placed my life on the line to perform this test.

Walsh Athletic Complex $3,000,000
They just want to spend $3 million on improving the fields. 

A complete waste of money. Check it out yourself.

Completion of Tercentennial Park $2,500,000
This is really a complete waste of money. How will this improve anyone's life.

Mr. King claims it's an extremely popular location used by residents from all over the town. Why fix something that's already popular.

Town WiFi Service $2,000,000
When did it become the business of government to get into the internet business? This will become a boondoggle to the town much like the Danforth Museum and the Loring Arena.

Let's get into profitable businesses like coffee, donuts, and of course, alcohol sales. Not bus lines, ice skating rinks and a crummy museum.

Given the nature of this technology, the entire service will need upgrades every 3 years and a permanent staff to maintain it 7x24.  Once built, the town will need permanent staffing for this new department to the tune of $200,000/year. This is government metastasizing.

The bandwidth to the internet issue has not been discussed.  I'm betting on slower than molasses running uphill in January.

Eighty percent of wireless access points are insecure and wide open to be used by anyone. Who will be responsible for security?

  • What will the cost be to the subscribers?
  • What will the bandwidth to the internet be (download/upload speed)?
  • How many transceivers will be installed (have a map?)
  • How many of you have wireless transceivers at home?
  • How many staff members will be required to maintain the wireless infrastructure?
  • Which ISP will provide the access for the wireless network?

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com