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Longmeadow can’t afford more school building projects

Date: 10/16/2013

The new Longmeadow High School has been dedicated and the contract with Gilbane is nearing completion. Some of the most vocal advocates for the new high school have already left Longmeadow’s rising taxes for greener pastures elsewhere, leaving the rest of us to retire the debt they insisted on creating. Their absence, however, will not deter the School Committee from demanding the next item on their never-ending wish list.

The assembly of a new School Building Committee is now in process, this time for a new middle school, or schools. The new committee will soon be back in the candy store, wide-eyed and tantrum ready, to loot our wallets one more time, just as its predecessor did, with a project the town cannot afford.

Once again, we will be told that the existing buildings have serious problems which can only be remedied with a wrecking ball. Once again, anyone with an alternate view, regardless of experience or qualification, will be vilified or ignored. And once again, the fiscal reality of current expenses, plus debt already accrued, plus unfunded retirement obligations, plus the demand of infrastructure improvements too long deferred, will be brushed aside. And, once again, as long as the majority of taxpayers remain uninterested, the School Committee will continue to manipulate the Select Board and the town of Longmeadow.

Philip B. Fregeau