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Support the Override

Longmeadow's public officials should be applauded for the override proposal the town will be voting for on Nov. 6. The voters have repeatedly asked for long range thinking from the town's officials. By proposing a three year override, they are doing just that. My guess is that the override will last significantly longer than three years. The last operating override in 2003 which was supposed to only be enough for one year has lasted five years.

A speaker at the recent forum talked about Longmeadow having overrides every two or three years. The facts according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue are that since 1983 (15 years), Longmeadow has passed only three operating overrides. There have been a number of capital overrides for the library, the schools and roof replacements. These capital overrides do not add permanent increases to our tax base.

While we can all quibble with certain spending items, overall Longmeadow officials have managed our resources well. Our school department has lower administrative overhead than most other towns. We have cut some services, the schools have seen increases in class size and fees for many programs at the high school, but overall we have maintained the services which brought most of us to Longmeadow. All this has been done in the face of cuts in state aid and increases in costs such as special education and health insurance.

My youngest child will graduate from Longmeadow High School in June. I strongly disagree with the parent who said, "My youngest child is graduating, what do I care?" This town has provided all three of my children an excellent education, but Longmeadow is more than just its schools. This override is not about the schools, it is about the whole town and maintaining town services for all its citizens.

Please remember to vote on Nov. 6 at the Community House and vote YES to support Longmeadow.



Bill Hoff

Longmeadow