The Community Preservation Act (CPA) will create an additional tax burden on Watertown homeowners where funds will be controlled by the small group people who campaigned for it. Meanwhile, Watertown’s schools need funding for essential improvements.
The CPA will, “…establish a dedicated funding source” for the specific wants of a minority of Watertown residents. That is probably why it is being pushed by the Historical Society of Watertown (Society), Invest in Watertown (Invest), and five members of Watertown’s Town Council (Council). These people treat Watertown homeowners and renters as an endless source of money for them to spend, no matter that many homeowners have higher priorities such as schools, homes, and family.
Watertown homeowners can ill afford a continuing, “…additional excise of [2%]…” to fund the Society’s intense desire to socialize at the “Shick House” or Invest’s on Walker Pond and dog parks. Watertown homeowners are not a bottomless piggy bank; they cannot fund the wants of every interest group’s pet project. As desirous as it may be for Invest’s supporters to see an entirely new bureaucracy dedicated to dog parks, ponds, and open space, the CPA sends no money to where it is most needed: the Watertown Public Schools.
Currently, Watertown’s overcrowded schools do not get enough funding; our children are languishing in unfit schools. Meanwhile, and despite our children’s crowded decaying schools, five Council members, Invest’s and Society’s supporters relentlessly campaign for dog parks, remodeled historical houses, and open space. Simply put these entities think preserving empty houses, lots, and providing for dogs are more important than schools. These special interest groups and their Council patrons prioritize their wants over the needs of our children at the cost of homeowners and renters.
Prioritizing Watertown’s schools over taxation for frivolous projects and more bureaucracy controlled by special interest groups and their political patrons is the core reason why I will be Voting No on the CPA.