The View From Prospect Hill – October 24

On October 24, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Question 4 on the November 6 ballot seems to be something of a hot-button topic for some Somerville voters.

It asks residents whether or not the city should adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA), initially enacted in 2000 by then-Governor Cellucci, allowing communities to create a Local Preservation Fund to raise money through a surcharge on property taxes of up to 3 percent for open space protection, historic preservation and the provision of affordable housing. The City of Somerville has proposed a surcharge of 1.5 percent, which, in accordance with the state law, will be assessed on each piece of taxable real estate in the city.

The knee-jerk reaction by many of us when it comes to raising taxes and fees at any time is often terse and immediate: just say no. Very often this can be a justifiable response.

In this case we ask our fellow voters to consider the pros and cons of this proposal carefully. While it is never a pleasant business to levy additional fees of any kind, there are times when the benefits may outweigh the negatives and are well worth the costs.

The monies generated by the adoption of the CPA could provide much needed funding for programs that will greatly enhance the quality of life for all Somerville residents.

This is something that should be considered carefully.



8 Responses to “The View From Prospect Hill – October 24”

  1. Rob says:

    Good food for thought. I think Question 4/ the CPA is an example of when the benefits DO outweigh the negatives and “are well worth the costs.”

  2. Oldgrrrl says:

    It’s not just about the money; it’s a question of who will benefit and to what degree. Who will decide what organizations get the money and how much? I can’t help but wonder if it’s already been decided who will benefit and to what degree.

    If you go to Somerville Community Corporation’s website, you’ll see their strong endorsement for Question 4. Some historic preservationists and open space advocates are also endorsing Question 4; however, they say they expect to receive only small percentages of the funds. Is SCC lobbying hard for Question 4 because they expect to receive the lion’s share?

    There are just too many unanswered questions for me to endorse Question 4. I think it’s opaque and bad policy. I will be voting “no”.

  3. Ron Newman says:

    I’m voting for this because I would like to see the Prospect Hill Tower stabilized and repaired so that it can be opened to the public for more than one or two days each year. CPA funds can also be useful in extending the Community Path eastward from Cedar Street towards the Charles River.

  4. Oldgrrrl says:

    I would also like to see Prospect Hill Tower stabilized. I’d also like to see the library on Highland Street preserved and maintained. I’d like to have more open space too and an extended Community Path. But I’m voting no because I don’t believe for a minute that adequate funds will be allocated to these projects.

  5. Ray Spitzer says:

    Bulls**t! I’m voting against this. They can let the Prospect Hill Tower collapse, for what I care. Why don’t the people who live near the Tower pay for it? I never go there, I don’t care about the Tower…

  6. MarketMan says:

    Oldgrrrl: My guess would be YES… SCC expects to get their hands on the money.

    Ron: I would be all for funding these projects that you mention, and I agree that CPA funds can be used for these. The question is will they?? How do I know they won’t be used for affordable housing? I think it is curious why affordable housing is lumped in with historic preservation and open space. If you had separate funds for each of the 3, then I think there would be more transparency. But I think one category is the true intent, while the others are to entice people with emotional attachment to certain proposed projects.

  7. MarketMan says:

    With all my comments against CPA, I hope that I am wrong… because I do think the majority of voters will vote for it. I’d like to see what the excuse is then for why there isn’t enough money for Prospect Hill Tower, or Community Path, etc.

  8. Jackie says:

    Here is the way to vote on the ballot questions.
    Q1: Yes. Q2: Yes. Q3: Yes. Q4:No. Q5:No. Q6: No. Q7: No.

    Q1: Auto repair one – yeah, I take my car to the dealer, but if I ever decide I want to take it to an independent repair shop I at least want to know he/she has the latest & greatest info. I am not buying the BS from the dealers that somehow their grease monkeys are more honest with PI and do better work.

    Q2: Assisted suicide. Yeah… when it’s time to check out then it’s time to check out with some dignity. I believe assisted death goes on a lot today via the ‘ol wink-wink-nudge-nudge with the nurses/doctors in hospice and over medicating the soon to be departed. And I say God bless them, so let’s make it legal.

    Q3: Pot medicinal use. Yeah.. Legalize everything. War on drugs is a failure and if people want to abuse drugs and ruin their lives they should be allowed to. Darwinism. The more dopes that do drugs the more resources there are for those of us who don’t. Legalize it all – if people can’t discipline themselves then they have right to ruin their lives. Of course, once they become violent criminals they should be executed. Either way they make a choice that ends them in jail or the boneyard, so let’s make it easy for them. I am good with this. Oh – and for those nitiwts who say “it’s for medicinal use!!!” all I can say “Just stop with that nonsense. We all know what it’s for.”

    Q4 is just a special interest money grab. Our property taxes aren’t high enough already? When do we finally get property tax RELIEF? NEVER, ever GIVE the pigs feeding at the public trough MORE $$$!!!! Didn’t you learn that already with the sales tax fiasco???

    Q5 thru Q7 are non-binding and would just serve to demonstrate to what extent this city has been invaded by moonbat, lefty morons in the last 20 years. Seriously, how stupid are some of these people? Non-binding questions on whether corporations are people, regulate/tax weed and prevent cuts to welfare programs? The rest of the state and nation would laugh at us if any of these passed. They’re non-binding and they would just serve to comfort some of the far left lunatics.

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