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King says $86M override idea is off the table Friday, March 25, 2005
David McLaughlin 508-626-4338 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Town Manager George King says the $86 million override package he proposed last year to cover an array of building and infrastructure improvements is "dead."

King said that after a December meeting among town officials about the proposal it became clear that "other avenues were going to be pursued."

The capital override proposal covered several building projects, including a $28.5 million renovation to the Memorial Building and $6 million worth of work on the Fuller and Stapleton schools.  King also pressed for $24 million in road and drainage improvements and $2 million for a townwide wireless Internet network.

When he presented it to selectmen, Finance Committee and Capital Budget Committee in December, King said the proposal outlined the town's most pressing capital needs.

King acknowledged the package may have been too big for people to accept, but he defended it for, if nothing else, triggering debate about how the town budgets its capital projects.  He said he doubted it would ever come back in the same form.

"The discussion has put the issue of capital budgeting on the front burner, and that's really the most important thing," he said.

After the December meeting, officials set up an ad hoc committee to determine how to proceed with the proposal.  The committee has since met several times, primarily debating the capital budget process.

Committee member Tom O'Neil said he and others believed the override was dead, though King never told the committee that, he said.

Attempting to push ahead with the override plan, O'Neil said, "just isn't the politically correct thing to do right now."

Resident Harold Wolfe, who has been waging a campaign against the override, said he planned to meet with selectmen at their next meeting to ask about the status of the override.

"I'm curious to know because I suspect it's dead," he said.

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