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In the February 19 edition of The Cricket, William Shipman wrote that Manchester is one of the most expensive towns in the Commonwealth as measured by per capita spending.  Robert Beatty followed up with the argument that spending per capita is not a meaningful measure for evaluating Manchester’s cost of living, saying this method does not “statistically control” for all sorts of different factors.  Instead, Mr. Beatty suggests that real property taxes are a better measure.  Is Beatty on to something?

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A group of extremely dedicated and hardworking citizens of our fair town has produced a very viable and timely plan to acquire and put into place in perpetuity by May, 29 units of affordable housing that already exist in our village but have not been so categorized.

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In his recent op-ed piece (What You Haven’t Been Told: We Don’t Have a Revenue Problem, We Have a Spending Problem, February 19), William G. Shipman argues that Manchester has a spending problem. Given Mr. Shipman’s 48-year perspective and his past service to this community, his opinions and proposals merit consideration. After evaluating Mr. Shipman’s analysis, I offer a different perspective.

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Is the Manchester that has been entrusted to us since the 17th century at risk of disappearing?  Ed Corley’s "Manchester-by-the Sea”, once an idyllic, self-reliant seaside village, is the target of a worrisome number of State and quasi-State programs, products, grants and regionalization initiatives making their way through our Town boards and committees.