Well, it's that time of year again, winter is passing, spring is here and the town of Shirley is crying again because we can not pay our bills.
Seems like it should be a country song, "We Can't Manage Our Money Blues."
It wasn't that long ago that we were told we need to regionalize school systems with Ayer because we will save money. It's the only thing we could do, we were told.
Well, I'd like to ask the people who lied to our faces: How's this working out for you?
Seems to me that our taxes are going up for the next five years to build up pretty new schools in Ayer. Meanwhile, our younger kids have to go to a thousand-year-old dump we call Lura A. White School!
By the way, we were lied to about that also. Remember the people in charge of the regionalization said that Lura A. White would be closing in five years? How much are we wasting to heat that building each year?
People really know how to push their agenda in this town but have no clue how we are supposed to pay for everything. I was reading the other day that our town "elected" officials were floating the idea of a Prop 2 1/2 override? Are you kidding me? Let's just drive the older people who can't afford the taxes now right out of town.
It's the same story year after year. The school system as run now is bankrupting this town and, of course, the first thing suggested is, let's cut police, fire, DPW and town services. It's a joke now what our town employees have to work with! We are really becoming the laughing stock of the region.
Why don't we regionalize everything with Ayer? We sure as heck can't manage things ourselves! Wake up and bring real businesses to town and stop worrying about historic Shirley. We need revenue!
Speaking of revenue, why has this town ignored charging those 150 cars per day parking at the train station? I have news for you, they are just about all from out of town. Steve Holbein brought this up years ago and nothing has ever been done. He has been in touch with the railroad and they advise we can do what we want. We are taking our DPW workers and having them plow all those spots out all winter. We only get reimbursed for 25 spots. So we taxpayers are paying so out of towners can park here for free!
Also, where has all that money gone that we are saving on the pay-per-bag trash collection? No one can give me an answer. Please, someone, tell me why we didn't join the regionalized dispatch center at Devens? I was reading that other towns are saving tens of thousands of dollars per year now! I thought we were told it wouldn't save us money? Funny, other towns are saving money by doing this. Wouldn't that extra money come in handy right about now?
What kind of crap are we being fed in this town? We never planned ahead. That was this town's biggest problem. Everyone has big-city ideas, but we have small-town pockets, and the answer is not to raise taxes again. We can't afford it!
I would like to thank our current town administrator for at least trying to come up with fresh ideas. That's what this town has been lacking for decades.