To the Editor:
The Community Preservation Act, the (CPA), is and always has been a very good thing for our town. In last week’s Cricket there was an article criticizing our use of this self-imposed tax because the State matching funds have been diminishing over time. The percentage of matching funds received from the State, has never been the issue. It has always been a good thing to get any amount of matching funds for needed projects.
The bottom line is that we completed projects we would have spent money on anyway, and we did so at a discount. Sure, some of you may not have agreed with this or that project that was done but you could have brought your opinions to the CPC committee meetings when they were carefully discussing the projects and voting. To cry foul ball after the fact is simply a disingenuous act.
The fact is that fixing the masonry on our historic library and beautiful Crowell Chapel would have cost a lot less money if we had just fixed the gutters and downspouts over the course of years, but we didn’t. Repairing the Masconomo Park bandstand, the Tuck’s Point rotunda and countless other projects have been of great service to our town and we enjoy them to this day. The fact is that it simply takes a lot of money to run the town and fix historic structures but we lack tax dollars because we don’t have enough commercial tax revenue. Largely speaking our revenue is purely from a residential tax base.
The CPA has provided an extremely valuable avenue for us to address key issues that have long waited by the wayside such as to buy watershed protection lands, to help support affordable housing and to fix our historic structures. One can quibble over the details but almost all of the projects the CPC has put forth before town meeting have met with overwhelming support and, most often, with unanimous votes in favor. Bravo to the Community Preservation Committee and to the town as a whole. We’ve done a very good job!