Yes! No!

Friday, May 8, 2009
By Cary Shuman

1n0508091By Joshua Resnek

There is something exquisitely bipolar about the way this town goes about the task of deciding whether to vote for the override.

Some of the people who claim to love the town the most won’t vote for the override that will allow Winthrop to remain open, so to speak.

They believe the town tends to waste money it raises or throws away what it is given.

Then there is the other side, the advocates for the override.

They have many questions about the town’s viability.

They see the override as the only way to make up what is needed to ensure that the library is kept open and that the elderly are serviced.

Letters writers to the Sun-Transcript run the gamut, although it appears the anti-override folks tend to write more often and with greater vigor than those who are in favor of it.

The override has an odious persona for those who are dead set against it.

One letter writer against the override pointed out last week that in the time it has taken to obtain approvals for the former Winthrop Hospital site to be developed, millions in new taxes – enough to pay to keep the library open and the senior center functioning - could have already been raised.

The writer of that letter believes the people against the development of the former hospital site are the same who are advocating for the override.

That writer makes great sense.

Then there are the writers on the other side, that is, the folks who believe that this town is going down without an override.

I think they have a point.

What changes here if the library isn’t open, if senior citizens have no place to go, if town services are reduced to the point of shadow services only, is more than just the stuff of a battle over spending measures and policies.

Every homeowner here with a mortgage should be supporting the override.

Without it, this town comes perilously close to becoming a second class community looked upon by outsiders as a place that is unwilling to spend what it takes to run a town the right way.

In such an environment, Winthrop becomes a negative place instead of a positive place.

Property values, already down, will tend to go much lower as the unwillingness of townspeople to pay for services is shown under a glaring spotlight.

Who will want to buy property in a town that doesn’t want to pay to take care of itself?

These are just a few of the questions homeowners, taxpayers and voters especially need to consider when deciding whether to vote for the override.

The override doesn’t fix anything for very long – but then – life is short and all of us must take care of our responsibilities all the time.

If you are unwilling to come to the aid of the town when it can’t take care of itself, well, what is there to say about townspeople who claim to love this place on the one hand but who are unwilling to put up the cash to keep it a place where everyone wants to live?

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