Once again, Templeton board of selectmen / chairman John Caplis puts out an erroneous statement and the Gardner News reporter Chance Vies fails to check it. Page one story, continued to page 4 from Saturday, March 31, 2018, Caplis states "while other communities such as Winchendon pay upwards of $20.00" The tax recap sheet for Winchendon, dated 12/11/2017 for fiscal year 2018 and signed by director of accounts Mary Jane Handy, shows a tax rate of $17.35 per thousand. Selectmen need to stop blowing smoke up peoples backside and check the facts before making those kind of statements. I would expect a competent reporter to do the same.
There is the possibility Caplis was misquoted, but this would be an ongoing issue, because this is not the first time a similar statement or quote concerning the wrong tax rate (s) have been printed in the Gardner News.
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Advisory Committee member (Jeff Bennett) suggested a compromise by both sides, school committee and Templeton selectmen. With NRHS school committee originally looking for an additional $485,000.00 in assessment money from Templeton. With Templeton selectmen stating, by way of the Town Administrator, that increase would be too much for the Town to absorb. With an amount of $150,000.00 already set aside and an estimated of $45,000.00 that could be moved from the overlay fund, selectmen were looking for a reduction of about $290,000.00. Attending a meeting of the district budget sub committee and listening to the discussion, I thought it was too much to ask and feeling it could backfire with the school committee certifying the entire increase of $485,000.00, I raised my hand and suggested a compromise, where the school committee would give a little and the Town would give a little. While it was not a sure thing, it seemed a possibility at the end of the budget sub committee meeting. I am gad I took time to attend that meeting. In the end, the school committee graciously took the idea of a compromise of sorts and voted to certify the compromise dollar figure. Both the school district and the Town are in the same boat, with a good part of the blame laying at the feet of the state; the legislature failing to appropriate the required monies needed for regional school district busing needs (transportation costs) and that puts the burden on Towns which takes away from the town and real education needs. If you wish to complain, begin with your local state representatives, they have failed to deliver on the promise the state would pay 100 percent of the regional schools transportation costs; 72% is not enough, appropriate what you owe, or you need to go.