Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

May 22, 2014

Taxing takeaways from Town Meeting

Editor, Townsman:

I am a lifelong resident of Andover in the middle of three generations that currently live here so my family represents all demographics: children, working class and seniors.

I attended all four nights of Town Meeting. There seemed to be about a 2 percent turnout of the registered voters by my rough calculations, which is quite pathetic indeed. Some folks I know opted to watch the Bruins instead of attending night three. Others came and left for one single article. Too bad we are not taking the brilliant lead of other towns like North Andover to foster greater citizen participation via the Internet, for example.

One of the primarily unnoticed highlights of night No. 1 was when about one-third of the audience got up and walked out just after the huge, inefficient school budget was passed, showing that a large portion of the voters were resident town employees with a special interest other than that of the public common good.

Who knows how many nonresidents voted fraudulently under a name of the 98 percent that did not show because the staff still refuses to simply verify a picture ID at voter check-in. It’s no secret that there has been voter fraud in our country such as was in the 2012 election with cases of multi-state voting and deceased folks voting.

The most significant part of the first week for the first half where we narrowly missed a great opportunity to save the town about $1 million per year simply by switching health insurance brands from Blue Cross to Tufts without any loss of quality. Regardless of the invalid excuses given by those on the stage, it is possible to do, such as done in the private sector. Someone whispered the term “StapczynskiCare,” which I can’t seem to get out of my head.

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