To the editor:
I am writing to lend my complete support to Susan Dring’s Nov. 14 letter to the editor concerning Foxboro’s spending problem.
As a resident here since 1994, I have the distinct impression, finely honed by my own service on the town’s advisory committee a few years ago, that it is rare for the town leaders to cut anything from, or reduce anything in its annual budget.
This is especially true with regard to school budgets wherein town leaders serve basically as a rubber stamp for whatever the schools request. Our public safety department requests for additions and replacements are perfunctorily approved with little discussion, argument or thorough analysis. Numerous attempts to level fund town departments are vetoed. Town managers seem to have their way with elected selectmen/women who often do not have the courage to effectively challenge annual requests.
One has to keep in mind that Foxboro’s population has remained static for a long time; its student population has been decreasing over the past few years; and, aside from the stadium, public safety demands are either static or reduced (save perhaps for the stadium); services to other than students are minimal at best. Yet, real estate assessments increase annually; public employees receive very generous annual raises; the town government routinely adds unnecessary positions and equipment; and school superintendents routinely receive overly generous retirement packages. And, to think that the town manager has the temerity to challenge the terrific work done by Ms. Dring’s committee, is simply beyond the pale. The need to reduce our annual budget is overwhelming.
I moved 22 times during my 31-year military career, and lived in 10 different U.S. cities. This is the first town/city in which I’ve lived where the valid needs of average tax paying citizens are routinely dismissed/not considered in favor of public employees and the schools; and wherein a sports stadium has led town leadership to a gluttonous state without due consideration for the majority. If nothing else, town leadership should go out of its way to reduce real estate taxes.
Kudos to Ms. Dring and my thanks for the sharing of her views.
Francis P. Keough, Foxboro