Editor, Townsman:

In late January, we learned the town of Andover wants to take on another $290 million in debt. No one seemed to care.

Wake up, Andover homeowners.

Since 75% of town revenue comes from property taxes, this $290 million obligation will cost each homeowner about $18,000 – before interest.

In fact, whenever Andover blows its budget, as it does every year, it reaches into our pockets to cover its excesses.

Our town managers used to take cover behind Proposition 2 ½, a license to add 2.5% to our tax bill each year. Then came special assessments, e.g., less than six months ago when they raised our taxes another 4%.

Now this.

No thought is ever given to belt tightening or solving critical budget challenges – like continually increasing pension obligations.

About $165 million of our proposed new debt obligation is to pay out pensions we’ve borrowed against to cover other budget excesses. (Yet we still offer generous pensions to public sector employees, so this cycle continues.)

We also continue to pump endless dollars into school buildings (the other $115 million of this new debt is for improvements to West and Sanborn elementary schools), while our district’s educational quality rankings plummet.

Craig Martin



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