The upcoming Special Town Meeting of Ayer next Monday covers many subjects, but one in particular -- the Maxant petition to govern Ayer's part of Devens. It paints a rosy picture, but there are many negative aspects not revealed. Many subtle features expose the author's hatred of anything Mass Development does.
They include many instances calling for sections of Chapter 498 to be repealed, and their legality is questionable. The concept is appealing by suggesting huge revenue gains for Ayer. The petition does not discuss the expense part of the equation by suggesting that Mass Development will maintain and assume the cost of the land being governed. What a strange conclusion to reach.
In addition, it also does not explain the fact that with Ayer's high commercial/industrial tax rate, the companies involved will find their taxes increase by about 50 percent. Of the 80 companies now operating in Devens, a large percentage must face this Ayer concoction. How long will such companies stay in Ayer?
Most of these companies are high-tech and require special attention now provided by Mass Development. The expansion of Ayer's government to provide these services will be another expense they must provide. In addition, the Devens residents will automatically become Ayer citizens and may not be happy. If they wanted to live in Ayer, they would've moved to Ayer, but instead invested in Devens for all of its unique and beautiful surroundings.
We suggest there are enough questionable features of the petition that Ayer citizens should also be questioning the logic of such a huge and unknown endeavor.